H2O Racing
Union Internationale Motonautique


March 2, 2024

Saturday, March 2:  Team Bình Định-Viet Nam’s Jonas Andersson led from start-to-finish to comfortably win the first of two Sprints races at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia late on Saturday morning. The pole-winning Swede romped away from his rivals to reach the chequered flag 13.741 seconds clear of Strømøy Racing’s runner-up Bartek Marszalek.


Andersson said: “Yesterday in qualifying I had some problems with my new boat. The boat is fantastic to drive. Now we fix it. When you have a new boat it is difficult to have everything ready. I think the boat will be okay (in the rougher conditions). The feeling is fantastic. We got some help yesterday from Scott (Gillman) and the Sharjah Team to fix my fuel tank. That is friendship for you…”


The F1 Atlantic Team’s Ben Jelf continued his rapid progression and came out on top in the scrap with Andersson’s rookie team-mate Stefan Arand for third place and eight priceless World Championship points. The China CTIC Team’s Brent Dillard finished fifth ahead of the Team Abu Dhabi duo of Thani Al-Qamzi and Alberto Comparato, while the Maverick Racing duo of Cédric Deguisne and Alexandre Bourgeot rounded off the finishers.


Runner-up Marszalek said: “Let’s hope I will stay in this position. After the race in Indonesia last year, I get a bad (health) diagnosis for my daughter and the season was full of ups and downs. Jonas is like a jack rabbit. I need to search for more performance. This is not the end of my story...”


“We have worked so hard for this result this weekend,” said third-placed Jelf. “It’s a very proud moment for me. Every race that we do we are making improvements and improving our lap times. “My family from my grandad to my dad, we are all World Champions. To be the only British driver here is also very important for us.”


Andersson headed eight of his rivals into the 14-laps of Sprint race one. With 10 points at stake for the win, nine for second and so on, the importance of the sprints in the new format could not be underestimated. Rain was falling in hot, humid conditions as large crowds gathered for the first race in Balige. After his disappointing qualifying stint - when he hit a buoy that became entangled in the gear casing and damaged the underside of the engine - Comparato began the opening sprint from the rear of the field.


Andersson made a storming start but his team-mate Arand was sluggish off the pontoon and the Estonian dropped back to third behind Marszalek and then ceded that position to Jelf. Andersson continued to build his lead heading into lap four with an advantage of 7.207 seconds over last year’s GP-winning Pole. Jelf continued to hassle Arand and the Briton pushed his way back into third place as the Team Abu Dhabi duo of Thani Al-Qamzi and Comparato headed into lap six in sixth and seventh and held their positions to the finish.


Andersson continued to edge away to confirm the win and a perfect start to the defence of his UIM F1H2O World Championship title.