Shaun Torrente, the talented American raceboat driver who landed with a new team following the 2017 Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship season, was recently asked to add XCAT World Championship driver to his list of Team Abu Dhabi duties—and the native Floridian happily accepted, albeit with a slight hesitation.
With two talented XCAT teams, hopes are high for Team Abu Dhabi this season. Photo by Raffaello Bastiani/XCAT World Championship
“I had every intention of joining the New Star Racing team in XCAT this season—with F1 taking priority of course—but when I was in Abu Dhabi testing recently my new team offered me a two-year contact to race XCAT that I couldn’t pass up,” said Torrente, who is excited to be an integral part of the team that’s ran by the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club. “I like everyone with the New Star team so that made the decision tough, but in the end I get to keep it all in the family so this is the best-case scenario.”
Torrente is set to throttle one of the team’s boats alongside driver Faleh Al-Mansoori, while the other boat is going to be piloted by Rashed Al-Tayer and Majed Al-Mansoori. Torrente, who is very optimistic about the upcoming F1 H2O season with his new team, doesn’t foresee any conflicts that will keep him from joining Al-Mansoori at each XCAT race. In fact, a couple of races, in China and UAE, take place on back-to-back weekends.
Shaun Torrente is looking forward to a fun season of racing for Team Abu Dhabi in both the F1 H2O and XCAT world championships.
The first two rounds of the XCAT World Championship are in Fujairah, UAE, on April 11-13, and the first of eight F1 H2O races is scheduled for May 18-20 in Portimao, Portugal. The 35th season of F1 H2O features a welcome return to racing in Great Britain for the first time since 1994—and to London for the first time since 1985—with the mid-June event at Royal Victoria Dock that is followed by the race in Evian, France, two weeks later.
“XCAT should be a really fun season,” said Torrente, who has raced off and on in the outboard-powered catamaran class throughout the past several years. “With F1, I feel like we have the best overall team—we expect to win every race—and in XCAT we have a team that is working its way to the top and expects to be there very soon. I know how hard the team works because I’ve competed against Abu Dhabi for a long time, and I’m ready to work just as hard for the team in both boats.
“Racing with a teammate is a different dynamic than F1 for sure, but it’s fun because it can be that much more rewarding when you start to work well together and have success on the racecourse,” he continued. “It’s going to be different but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
At the same time, Torrente is keeping busy back home on the West Coast of Florida with his STR X-ACT outboard bracket business. He said he had his best month in January and envisions even more business on the horizon. He’s taking on some full-time and part-time help especially since his racing schedule appears to be a little more demanding for at least the next two seasons.
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