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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Powerboats set to rattle Corniche coastline at Abu Dhabi’s second Grand Prix

A home team is targeting trophies as craft from the F1 H2O event visit the UAE capital

Shaun Torrente is currently the series leader. F1 H2O
Shaun Torrente is currently the series leader. F1 H2O

The roar of high-octane powerboats returns to the shores of the UAE on Thursday with the penultimate event in the 2018 UIM F1 H2O World Championship – and a home team has silverware in its sights.

Over the course of the three-day event, Team Abu Dhabi is facing a series of the most important practice laps and races in its history.

Squad drivers Shaun Torrente, Erik Stark and Thani Al-Qemzi currently hold the top three slots in the Drivers’ Championship.

One of the Team Abu Dhabi members has won all five rounds of the series so far this year and claimed 11 of the 15 available podium places.

The final event in the competition takes place in Sharjah in a week’s time, but it’s possible that the main trophy could be secured at this weekend’s racing, which is taking place at the Marina Breakwater and is being hosted by Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

Race facilities are at the ready in Abu Dhabi. F1 H2O
Race facilities are at the ready in Abu Dhabi. F1 H2O

F1 H2O is an international series of events using single-seater catermarans, which can reach speeds of up 250kph.

The sport is now in its 35th year, and 273 Grands Prix have taken place in 32 countries, over five continents.

This year, the series has visited, Portugal, the UK, France China, and India.

As things stand, 19 drivers are expected to take part in the racing at the UAE’s capital.

Now, Team Abu Dhabi is fighting for its first World Championship.

Series leader Torrente expressed confidence ahead of the event, citing “great equipment and a great team” as crucial to their success.

He said: “This is our home race. We have had such an amazing season and I guess everyone else wants to beat us here.

“It’s kind of everyone else’s Super Bowl. We have everything pretty well in hand.”

Meanwhile, Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi is trying to take the UIM F4 Trophy, a race series that runs in conjunction with the F1 H2O.

Spectators can watch the action for free from 2pm each day at the Corniche, where there will be a series of stalls and refreshment stands.

The main race takes place at 3.30pm on Saturday.

Updated: December 5, 2018 10:35 PM

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