The Dubai-based Victory Team and their American driver Shaun Torrente appear to be in a much better situation heading into this weekend’s Union Internationale Motonautique F1 H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Portugal (Aug. 1-2) in the city of Porto on the country’s Northwest coast.
The Victory Team tested its BABA-designed raceboat recently in Italy. Photos courtesy Associazione Motonautica San Nazzaro ASD
After announcing he was returning to F1 H2O competition with the Victory Team just a week before the second race of the season (read the story), Torrente finished fourth at the 19th annual Grand Prix of France at the end of June. Following two days of testing in Italy a week and a half ago, the Florida native who is the current points leader in the F1H2O driver championship is confident heading into the third race after getting to know the team and the boat much better.
“We got in a solid two days of testing,” said Torrente, who leaves tomorrow for the 14th Grand Prix of Portugal. “Where we test in San Nazzaro is such a great facility. The Cremona family that lives there does an unbelievable job of preparing the racecourse and supporting us with divers and facilities. On top of that ‘Mamma’ Cremona cooks us amazing authentic Italian lunches. Their support allows us to focus on the job of finding speed and pace without any distractions.”
Personnel arriving from the Emirates and other parts of Italy, including Team Manager Ragesh Elayadeth, Executive Director Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Hendi, Alex Canzi and Steban Baloo, joined Torrente in Italy.
Shaun Torrente says he is ready for the third race of the F1 H2O season in Portugal this weekend.
“We changed the bottom of the boat four different times to help improve acceleration and handling, and in the end, the testing was worthwhile and ‘just what the doctor ordered’ as we made some great progress from where we were in France last month,” Torrente added. “The whole Victory organization and its personnel are meshing well together and are dedicated to moving the program along. The next step is continuing to get to know each other better, and so far everyone has been great and truly professional.”
Highlighted by his victory at the Grand Prix of Qatar in March, Torrente leads both Swedish driver Jonas Andersson of Team Sweden and Kuwaiti pilot Youssef Al-Rubayan of the Portuguese-based F1 GC Atlantic Team by five points.
Once again you can watch the qualifying on Saturday and the Grand Prix race on Sunday via the worldwide television broadcast feed by going to the F1 H2O website www.f1h2o.com.