Wednesday, 24 November, Figueira da Foz (Portugal): The battle for the coveted drivers’ world title is perfectly poised as the UIM F1H2O World Championship returns to Portugal for a spectacular double header with the Grand Prix of Figueira da Foz taking place on Friday, 26 November followed by the Grand Prix of Portugal on Sunday 28th.
Team Abu Dhabi is comfortably out front in the Teams Championship and looks strong with two drivers at the top of their games: Thani Al Qemzi’s Grand Prix of Europe podium putting him in first position in the title fight and five points margine over his teammate and defending Champion Shaun Torrente.
Mixing it up at the front is Sharjah Team’s Semi Selio in third position with 3 point from Torrente.
CTIC F1 Shenzhen China driver Peter Morin and Stromoy’s Racing Bartek Marszalek must be on top of their game to keep in touch with the lead trio whilst Marszalek’s teammate Marit Stromoy is eager to return to action after the engine problems during the last Grand Prix and looking for the first points of the season.
With Mawerick Racing Alexandre Bourgeot rounding out the top six and Bourgeot’s teammate Cedric Deguisne in the seventh position, we need to wait next season to see Francesco Cantando and his team Blaze Performance back on the water as he will not compete in Portugal, as well as the 3 times World Champion France’s Philippe Chiappe.
Same line up for the Sweden Team duo with Jonas Andersson and the young Finland’s Kalle Vippo. Team boss Anderson, after a disappointing result in the Grand Prix of Europe, is hoping to go back where he left off in 2019 season, finishing winner at the Grand Prix of Sharjah.
Atlantic Team’s Duarte Benavente will race in his home country: the 50 years old from Vila Fresca de Azeitao, is one of the more experienced drivers in the UIM F1H2O World Championship, and he will be looking to kick-start these 2 Grand Prix with the same strong start he made in 2017 with a podium finish at his home Grand Prix in Portimao and where he made his championship debut in 1999.
The young Alec Weckstrom will line up in Portugal for Gillmann Racing Team after his first start in the Grand Prix of Europe whilst the italian driver Alberto Comparato is aiming for a strong start and for repeating the great performance in Pole Position he did in Grand Prix of Europe but hoping for better fortune during the race.
Sharjah Team Filip Roms with the new entry Ferdinand Zandbergen will close the line up.
The first opportunity for drivers to go out on the water and get a feel for the 1770m circuit on the Mondego River is an hour practice session on Thursday at 10.30hrs UTC followed by official qualifying at 15.00 UTC and the UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of Figueira da Foz on Friday at 15:30hrs UTC.
1 Shaun Torrente (usa/*uae) Team Abu Dhabi
2 Thani Al Qemzi (uae) Team Abu Dhabi
8 Peter Morin (fra) CTIC F1 Shenzen China Team
10 Duarte Benavente (por) F1 Atlantic Team
11 Sami Selio (uae) Sharjah Team
12 Filip Roms (fin) Sharjah Team
14 Jonas Anderson (swe) Team Sweden
15 Kalle Vippo (fin) Team Sweden
50 Marit Stromoy (nor) Stromoy Racing
66 Alec Weckstrom (fin) Gillman Racing
71 Ferdinand Zandbergen (ned) Sharjah Team
73 Cedric Deguisne (fra) Maverick F1 Team
74 Alexandre Bourgeot (fra) Maverick F1 Team
77 Bartek Marszalek (pol) Stromoy Racing
97 Alberto Comparato (ita) Comparato F1
(*International Racing Licence)