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ourteen years after the UIM F1H2O

World Championship’s first visit to the

subcontinent to Mumbai in 2004, the

championship returned for the Grand

Prix of India in Amaravati – and the wait

was absolutely worth it.

And what a treat the organisers

Malaxmi Group, the Andhra Pradesh

Tourism Authority and the people of

Amaravati served up - and the drivers and teams responded with

two days of simply brilliant action on the Krishna River.

Official figures put the race weekend attendance at 175,000 and

the electric atmosphere, the cacophony of noise and colour and

wonderful chaos carried all the way from the town and the streets to

the river banks as the crowds cheered every passing boat and raised

the roof every time a Team Amaravati boat went by.

On the water the weekend belonged to Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun

Torrente who delivered an imperious performance to deliver a

seventh career pole position and matched that tally with a lights to

flag victory in the race to move back to the top of the championship

standings for the first time since the season opener in Portugal in


The American delivered two moments of pure magic when under

immense pressure; the first in BRM Official qualifying when with less

than 30 seconds on the clock in Q2 he was in danger of missing the

cut but delivered on his final lap as the clock timed out to jump six

spots and go quickest and into the shootout.

In the shootout and the last to go of the six he fluffed his lines on his

first flying lap after Marit Stromoy had grabbed the provisional pole

with a monster 44.72s lap, but again when it mattered Torrente went

into ‘party mode’ and went quickest by 0.18s, much to the relief of

team manager Guido Cappellini!

The other star of the weekend was Stromoy – she was just mighty,

outstanding in qualifying and produced one moment in the race that

completely dispelled any argument that women struggle at the top

level in motorsport.

After fluffing her own lines from P2 off the dock and dropping places,

the yellow flag following the first corner mayhem between Philippe

Chiappe and Duarte Benavente that side lined both, threw her a


Again she was a little shy at the restart, lost ground to race leader

Torrente and was caught and momentarily passed by Abu Dhabi’s

Erik Stark, the two all but rubbing paint at turn 5 and Stromoy

pushed wide on the outside. But the Emirates Racing driver was


Marit Stromoy produced by far her best

performance of the season to finish in second

n° 5 DECEMBER | 2018