|Qatar’s Torrente Robbed Of Maiden Grand Prix Victory In Dramatic Finish In Ukraine|
|Sunday, 22 July 2012 17:04|
VYSHGOROD (Ukraine): The Qatar Team’s Shaun Torrente was robbed of his first ever F1 H20 Grand Prix victory at the delayed Grand Prix of Ukraine on the Kiev Sea at Vyshgorod, near Kiev, on Sunday.
Torrente, needing a win to keep his title hopes alive, passed double World Champion Sami Selio early on and looked set to take his first victory until a yellow flag was raised on lap 26 of 32, while a back-marker’s boat was removed from the course.
When action resumed with just three laps to run, the Qatar Team driver’s engine failed and this enabled pole winner Selio of Finland to cruise through to take maximum points and the outright win.
Torrente’s team-mate and defending World Champion Alex Carella maintained his title hopes with third position, although title rival Ahmed Al-Hameli of Team Abu Dhabi managed to overtake the Italian near the finish and extended his lead over Carella in the championship from eight to 11 points.
What can we really say after that,” said a deflated Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani.
“Last year Shaun had bad luck, he had bad luck in Tatarstan and then this happened today. He drove so well. The yellow flag certainly did not help us at all. The stop-stop stop-start may well have caused an engine problem. Now Shaun cannot win the title with three races to go, so we must concentrate on Alex. We came here eight points behind and now we are 11 behind, but we will bounce back at the next one, for sure.”
Strong winds and driving rain caused the postponement of the race on Saturday afternoon and everyone returned to the Kiev Sea on Sunday morning for the third round of the UIM F1 H20 World Championship.
Torrente and Carella starting the slightly shortened 32-lap race under the yellow flag from second and third behind Selio. Weather conditions were much better and the race started on lap one with Selio managing to hold off Torrente and Carella until a yellow flag was raised when Stanislav Kourtsenovsky flipped his boat.
The race restarted on lap six and Torrente managed to squeeze passed Selio and forged a path into the distance. Carella retained third from Francesco Cantando and Al-Hameli. Torrente extended his lead over Selio to 6.14 seconds through lap nine, but the Finn had pegged the Qatar driver’s advantage back to 5.75 seconds by lap 13.
Torrente’s lead had grown to 7.36 seconds at the halfway point and he maintained his lead to lap 26 when a yellow flag was raised for the second time because Ivan Brigada broke down on the course.
The boats bunched up and action restarted on lap 29. Al-Hameli managed to pass Carella and snatch third and then he inherited second when Selio passed a slowing Torrente, who was forced out of the race with engine problems.
Selio held on to take the win and Al-Hameli fended off Carella’s challenge to secure the runner-up spot and extend his championship lead to nine points.
2012 Grand Prix of Ukraine – race results
1. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 32 laps
2. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi @ 2.27s
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team @ 4.36s
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team @ 7.22s
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team @ 11.80s
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi @ 14.71s
7. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team @ 18.99s
8. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 1 lap behind
9. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 2 laps behind
10. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 3 laps behind
2012 UIM F1 H20 World Championship – standings after round 3
1. Ahmed Al-Hameli (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 50 pts
2. Sami Selio (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 41 pts
3. Alex Carella (QAT) Qatar Team 39 pts
4. Phillipe Chiappe (FRA) CTIC China Team 36 pts
5. Francesco Cantando (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 12 pts
6. Shaun Torrente (QAT) Qatar Team 10 pts
6. Thani Al-Qamzi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 10 pts
6. Jonas Andersson (SWE) Team Sweden 10 pts
9. Stanislav Kourtsenovsky (RUS) CTIC China Team 7 pts
10. Filip Roms (FIN) Team Mad Croc F1 4 pts
10. Yousef Al-Rubayan (KUW) F1 Atlantic Team 4 pts
10. Valerio Lagiannella (ITA) Singha F1 Racing Team 4 pt
13. Khaled Saleh Al-Shamlan (QAT) Qatar Team 2 pts
13. Phillipe Tourre (FRA) F1 Atlantic Team 2 pts
13. Duarte Benavente (POR) F1 Atlantic Team 2 pts
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