Controversial Rookie Star Torrente



ABU DHABI Tuesday, June 21, 2011 – Jack rabbit starts...Controversial crashes... Fighting for first place and a podium in only two career Grand Prix starts.

Who is this guy?

Well, if you've been following the world of the UIM F1 H2O World Championship for powerboat racing in 2011, you know it can only be rookie Shaun Torrente, who, sponsored by Peters &May and racing for Team Sweden with his “gift” for driving has already earned himself notoriety while raising eyebrows from critics in the paddock at the same time with his “never give up” aggressive style of driving that seems to be his signature wherever he goes in the racing world along with his unlimited talents.

The 32 year-old currently sits tied for sixth in the World Championship with nine points and is hoping for more when the series moves to Kazan for it's next race at the third round of the championship at the Grand Prix of Russia on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of July.

At the opening round at the Grand Prix of Qatar in March, Shaun, in his first ever race in his teammate Jonas Andersson's older DAC hull, misjudged his qualifying set-up and started 12th on the grid. At the start of the event he quickly jumped up to sixth on the opening lap and later challenged French driver Philippe Chiappe for third position and a podium finish only to have a piece of his propeller break off during the race forcing him to settle for fourth place at the end of the day.

Nice beginning to Shaun's introduction to UIM F1 racing and nine big points.

In Portimao, Portugal Torrente was quickest in Q2 qualifying only to drop back and start sixth off the dock from the Grand Prix start. On the opening lap he leaped to third passing a host of established stars and eventually slid into second position when Team Abu Dhabi driver Ahmed Al Hameli crashed out of the race on the ninth lap.

Norwegian driver Marit Stromoy of Team Nautica, who put the racing world on their ear the day before by earning pole position being the first women in international motor sports competition to start number one in a Grand Prix, was doing a great job holding off her male competition leading the race when the accident with Torrente occurred.

The incident happened on the re-start. Shaun, sitting behind Marit, shifted to the left lane pushing for his first ever Grand Prix lead, he and Marit got together, touched and both blew their boats over together in spectacular fashion ending their dreams for their first UIM F1 H2O victory.

Both drivers were thankfully unscathed after the incident, but their boats would need major repairs to race again. The UIM officials handed out two yellow cards to Shaun and now the driver from Miami, Florida must be careful not to receive another in the next four Grand Prix's or he'll be forced to sit out a race.

“People ask me if I am an aggressive driver and I say 'Hell, Yes!”, said Shaun. “I promise all my fans that I will always give 110% effort. Not every decision and move you make as a driver will work out but I always learn from them and become better.”

The two-time North American F1 Champion went on to say, “The unfortunate accident for the race lead with Marit, I truly believe that neither one of us did anything egregious,” said the 32 year-old rookie. “I do not agree with the fact that I received two yellow cards but I also understand I am the “new guy” in the series.”

Torrente has a remarkable resume in racing. He's always done well in every class he has competed in and he's won a title in each series. Coming from the SST-45 class and moving up to SST-120 (F2) in America five years ago, Shaun teamed up with Californian ex-driver and then owner Fred Bowden making an instant mark in F1 and eventually winning titles the last two season's in North America while capturing nearly 75% of his starts in the process.

“I always wanted to race in the UIM F1 H2O series,” said Shaun. “I've proven what I can do in North America and now want to carry that same success over to the world tour as well. Linking up with Jonas Andersson and having a great sponsorship with Peters &May International Yacht Transportation is a real blessing, a dream come true.”

Shaun went on to say, “My team has gone to the UIM F1 H2O series and we are exactly where we expected to be which is we are fighting for wins. My boat has been fixed and now we'll have to re-wire it when we get to Kazan to get her ready again.”

The driver who attended Florida State University and has his own high performance marine business in South Miami in the city of Homestead, oddly enough had never raced against fellow American and points leader in the championship Jay Price of the Qatar Team until this season.

“When I am racing, I am doing just that, racing...whatever it takes,” stated Torrente. “I said before Portimao that I thought I truly believed I could win and I was in position to do just that. Now, I just have to close the deal. By the way, next time I'll leave my helmet on my head and not take it off only if I am unlucky enough to have another stoppage in a Grand Prix again. Let's hope that doesn't happen however.”

Shaun and drivers from 12 different nations are expected to ascend on the junction of the Volga and Kazanka rivers at the lovely ancient city of Kazan which is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, in Russia for the 12th Grand Prix of Russia on the 16th and 17th of July. The full weekend's activities with the one hour qualifying for pole on the 16th of July and the Grand Prix event on the 17th can be followed exclusively live on the official website at www.f1h2o.com .

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21.06.2011