Team Abu Dhabi make brilliant start to double title defence as Al Qemzi takes second spot after spectacular challenge
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - May 20, 2019: Shaun Torrente grabbed an impressive victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal today as Team Abu Dhabi made a perfect start to their double title defence in the F1H2O World Championship.
Reigning world drivers’ champion Torrente had to fight off a spectacular challenge from team-mate Thani Al Qemzi who finished in second place as the Team Abu Dhabi duo scored a brilliant one-two finish in Portimao for the second year in a row.
After Torrente had topped qualifying 24 hours earlier from Al Qemzi, the defending F1 team champions had always looked likely to dominate the Grand Prix which kick started the championship following the opening round weather disruption in Saudi Arabia.
Described by Torrente as “the best starter in the world”, Al Qemzi was unable to force his way into the lead from the off, but with four of 48 laps left had closed to within 0.4s of the lead to pile the pressure on his team-mate.
Al Qemzi had signalled his intention to make it his day earlier in the afternoon by setting the
fastest time in free practice, but Torrente held on to clinch victory by a slender 1.38s, with Swede
Jonas Andersson in third.
Earlier Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Mehairbi took third place in the weekend’s second F4-S
race won by German’s Max Stilz, with Rashed Al-Remeithi finishing seventh
1. Shaun Torrente – led from start to finish
2. Thani Al Qemzi – piled the pressure on his team-mate