Wednesday, 8 September, San Nazzaro (Italy): The prestigious UIM F1H2O World Championship launches into 2021 season this coming weekend ( 10-12 September) at the Grand Prix of Europe in San Nazzaro (in the Region of Emilia Romagna), which marks a return to Italy for the first time in 15 years.
“Monticelli d’Ongina”, in San Nazzaro, the historical location of FIM (the Powerboat Italian Federation), which will host the race, is getting ready for the Grand Prix with the trucks of the teams arriving in the paddock on the banks of Po River from all over the world.
Grand Prix of Europe is a result of the strong collaboration between H2O Racing, organizer of the UIM F1H2O World Championship, and the Italian Powerboat Federation and the great support given to the project by its President Vincenzo Iaconianni.
Ten teams and 18 drivers from 10 countries make up the 2021 entry 20 months later from the moment the chequered flag dropped in Sharjah to close out 2019.
Team World Champion American Shaun Torrente who carries the number 1 plate will undoubtedly be the target for its rivals to try to dethrone and leading the team’s DAC shod attack alongside Emirati Thani Al Qemzi.
Three-time champion Philippe Chiappe will be itching to get out on the water and leads an unchanged line up at China Team with Peter Morin looking to build on a solid debut season.
The line-up at F1 Atlantic will see Duarte Benavente starting alone in the first race of the season.
Two time world champion Sami Selio also continues for this season his partnership with fellow countryman Filip Roms, Finland’s Kalle Vippo makes his F1H2O debut in Italy with Swedish outfit Team Sweden after being signed up by team principal and experienced driver Jonas Andersson at the beginning of last year.
Simone Bianca Schuft, the first German women to race in the F1H2O Championship, joins again for the second time the highly experienced Francesco Cantando at Blaze Performance.
Finnish Alec Weckstrom will team up in Gillman Racing, which makes its debut in San Nazzaro, with Sweden’s Erik Stark.
As already announced Norway’s Marit Stromoy for the first time sets out on her own team, Stromoy Racing F1H2O Team, alongside her fellow team mate Poland’s Bartek Marszalek.
Alexander Bourgeot set to make his first start in the championship and teams-up with Maverick F1’s Cedric Deguisne while Italy’s Alberto Comparato will race this year with his own boat and team.
First practice takes place on Friday afternoon, with a second session on Saturday morning and Rebellion Official Qualifying in the afternoon. The final practice on Sunday morning is followed by the UIM F1H2O Grand Prix of Europe at 15.00 hrrs.
2021 UIM F1H2O TEAM & DRIVER LINE-UPS
ABU DHABI TEAM: 1 Shaun Torrente (usa/uae*) / 5 Thani Al Qemzi (uae)
CHINA CHIC TEAM: 7 Philippe Chiappe (fra) / 8 Peter Morin (fra)
F1 ATLANTIC: 10 Duarte Benavente (por)
SHARIAH TEAM: 11 Sami Selio (fin) / 12 Filip Roms (fin)
TEAM SWEDEN: 14 Jonas Andersson (swe) / 15 Kalle Vippo (fin)
BLAZE PERFORMANCE: 36 Francesco Cantando (ita) / 37 Simone Schuft (ger)
GILLMAN RACING : 3 Erik Stark (swe) / 66 Alec Weckstrom ( fin)
STROMOJ RACING: 50 Marit Stromoy (nor) / 77 Bartek Marszalek (pol)
MAVERICK RACING: 73 Cedric Deguisne (fra) / 74 Alexandre Bourgeot ( fra)
ALBERTO COMPARATO : 97 Alberto Comparato ( ita)