Torrente Recovering After Crash In F1H2O Grand Prix Of Sharjah Saturday Qualifying Race – Speed on the Water
Although the world title was not going to be up for grabs, the stage was likely to be set for a classic season-ending battle during this weekend’s Union Internationale Motonautique F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates between veteran drivers Jonas Andersson and Shaun Torrente. But that scenario is in jeopardy now as only a few hours after battling with the already declared 2023 world champion—Team Sweden’s Andersson—Team Abu Dhabi’s Torrente, a three-time world champ and Florida native, was involved in a crash during the afternoon’s second sprint race on Khalid Lagoon.
Team Abu Dhabi driver Shaun Torrente was taken to a local hospital for medical examination following a crash during a Saturday sprint race at the F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of Sharjah. Photo courtesy Simon Palfrader/F1H2O
Torrente was taken to a local hospital for medical checks following the accident in which his boat was clipped by Victory Team’s Ahmad Al-Fahim and then collided at speed with the rear of Finnish driver Filip Roms’ Mad Croc Gillman Racing boat. Torrente’s new DAC hull launched into the air and ended up inverted in the water, while Roms’ boat sustained substantial rear damage. Osprey Rescue was quickly on the scene, transporting Torrente to the medical staff and Roms back to the pits.
Al-Fahim was disqualified from the racing weekend for dangerous driving after his part in the accident that brought the day’s second sprint race to a sudden halt on the opening lap. He and his teammate, Erik Stark, who ended up first and second, respectively, once the 15-lap race was resumed about halfway through, were deemed to have moved across the racing line heading into turn four, leaving Torrente nowhere to go. With Al-Fahim given a red card and Stark handed a yellow, it meant that Stark was deemed the winner. Al-Fahim has protested the decision.
In a press release, Team Abu Dhabi said it will decide overnight whether Torrente can start Sunday afternoon’s Grand Prix of Sharjah finale. While Torrente was not seriously injured, he was being assessed by medical staff. He did share a post on social media, black-eye and all.
“I am OK—just want to be with my team and my family,” Torrente said. “Last I remember is the blue boat coming over…thank you to Osprey and all the emergency personnel as well as the doctors. I am eternally grateful for all their hard work!
“They are holding me for observation and have a bunch of stuff hooked up, so far so good,” he added. “I have not seen the crash or boat, but I am thankful for how awesome it is that I can type this right now.”
Team Abu Dhabi technicians are currently working overnight in an attempt to repair the badly damaged boat. Team manager Guido Cappellini said that despite the damage, the cockpit remained intact, underlining the ability of today’s F1H2O boats to withstand crashes.
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