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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

Team Abu Dhabi's Shaun Torrente targets more title success in UIM F1H2O World Championship

The American, along with Thani Al Qemzi, looking for strong start to campaign in Saudi Arabia on Saturday

Shaun Torrente is targeting a winning start in Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy of Team Abu Dhabi
Shaun Torrente is targeting a winning start in Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy of Team Abu Dhabi

Team Abu Dhabi are prepared for a major challenge when they launch their bid for a second successive double title triumph at Saturday's Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, opening round of the 2019 UIM F1H2O World Championship.

Reigning world champion Shaun Torrente and Emirati Thani Al Qemzi, who finished third in last year’s individual standings, head a powerful nine-team line up in Dammam for the return of the series to Saudi after a 15-year gap.

Among their biggest rivals will be France’s three time-world champion Philippe Chiappe and son-in-law Peter Morin who finished runners-up to the Abu Dhabi duo in last year’s Teams Championship for CTIC F1 Shenzhen China.

Chiappe, who had to settle for fifth place during a frustrating 2018 campaign, is determined to launch a powerful assault on the title while Morin showed with his fourth position and two podiums last season that he is also a major force to be reckoned with.

“I’m very excited to be starting the season as world champion for the first time, and of course my target is to capture the title again and make sure Team Abu Dhabi finish the year as champions,” said Torrente.

“It’s going to be tough to do that, but the team has prepared meticulously for the new season and we’re looking forward to getting things under way.”

Al Qemzi, who’s own world title hopes last season were ended by engine failure during the last round in Sharjah, said: “We’re committed to keeping the team title in Abu Dhabi, and that’s the priority, although we both obviously have our individual ambitions.

“It’s good to see Saudi back as a race venue in the championship and I’m looking forward to starting the season, hopefully with the right result for myself and the team.”

Also returning to action with Team Abu Dhabi in Saudi in the hunt for the F4-S Trophy are Mohammed Al Mehairbi who is looking to build on his fourth place overall finish last season and Rashed Al Remeithi.

Action on the 2.23km Dammam Circuit begins on Thursday with an extra free practice session. A second practice session on Friday morning is followed by qualifying, with the final practice session on Saturday morning and the UIM F1H2O Grand Prix Saudi Arabia starting at 5pm UAE time.

Updated: March 27, 2019 09:24 PM

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