World champions eye another one-two Grand Prix triumph in Portimao
Shaun Torrente and Thani Al Qemzi have given Team Abu Dhabi a perfect platform as they seek another one-two success in the Grand Prix of Portugal tomorrow to launch their double title defence in the F1H2O World Championship.
It was a case of same again on the Arade River Circuit in Portimao as reigning world champion
Torrente completed a pole position hat-trick by edging out Al Qemzi in the third qualifying session, just as he did 12 months ago.
Torrente’s stunning fastest lap of 42.58s, beating his team-mate by 0.08s, now presents him with the opportunity to repeat his brilliant qualifying and race double triumph on his Team Abu Dhabi debut in Portugal last year.
“It wasn’t a perfect run because conditions were very difficult and the wind made the boat jump about, but the team did an amazing job to prepare it for me,” he said at the finish, as Marit Stromoy marked Norway National Day with the third quickest time.
“We saw Eric (Stark) crash in Q2, that’s how difficult it was. We managed Q1 and Q2 and in Q3 we just went for it and luckily we came out on top again.”
The Team Abu Dhabi duo are in the ideal position to dominate tomorrow’s Grand Prix proceedings as they did last year, although Torrente is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s going to be so much tougher this season,” he said. “Everyone has been working so hard in the winter and the boats are so close.”
Team Abu Dhabi hope the F1 qualifying success can help inspire Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Remeithi in tomorrow’s F4-S race after they finished fifth and seventh respectively in today’s opener.