With high expectations heading into today's Union Internationale Motonautique F1H2O World Championship Grand Prix of China, Qatar Team driver Shaun Torrente crashed with Sami Selio of the Mad Croc F1 Team after a restart on the 11th lap in Liuzhou, China. Both drivers were OK after the incident.
The two drivers were battling for second-place position behind Torrente's teammate, Alex Carella, who held a comfortable lead for most of the race. The defending world champion, Carella brought home the checkered flag at the same event where he won his first F1H2O race during his rookie season in 2010. With the victory, Carella moved into the top spot in the 2012 world championship standings with two races remaining.
With live online coverage beginning at 3 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Stephen J. Michael and Jonathan Jones called the exciting race, which featured 19 drivers from 13 different countries.
Torrente, who is from Miami, started in fifth and worked his way into fourth before Bimba Sjoholm of Team Sweden—one of two women drivers to start the race—barrel rolled on the eighth lap. On the restart, Torrente, Selio and second-place finisher Thani Al Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi went into the fifth turn three wide, and Selio and Torrente collided, which led to another yellow lag for six more laps.
"It was crazy on the outside, those restarts are like a casino," Torrente told Michael during an interview in the middle of the race broadcast. "We've got plenty of speed. We're here to go fast and do the best we can. Sometimes you have to take chances to do that."
Carella, who represents the Qatar Team and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), now holds a nine-point line in the world championship standings.
“I am really happy with first place,” said Khalid bin Arhama Al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the QMSF, which runs under the presidency of Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, in a press release after the race. "This was a fantastic result for Alex and it is great that we are leading the championship heading to the next race in Abu Dhabi."