Thursday, November 2: Only Team Abu Dhabi’s Shaun Torrente can now stop the recently-crowned UIM F1H2O World Champion Jonas Andersson from securing the UIM F1H2O Pole Position Trophy at the Road to Sharjah - Grand Prix of Sharjah on December 9th-10th.
The Team Sweden star will arrive in the United Arab Emirates with an 18-point advantage in the points’ standings and only pole position for his Florida rival and a position outside the top six in qualifying will prevent the veteran from adding a third Pole Position Trophy to his second World Championship title.
Andersson has been the class of the field this season and securing the world crown with one round to spare has enabled the Swede to concentrate on adding the Teams’, fast lap and Pole Position titles to his tally, as he bids to emulate Team Abu Dhabi’s clean sweep of all four awards in 2022. While he starts as the clear favourite to claim the additional piece of silverware, both the CTIC China Team’s Peter Morin and Italy’s Alberto Comparato can still finish as runner-up to the Swede should Torrente falter.
Looking back over recent years, the winner of the Pole Position Trophy has not necessarily gone on to become the World Champion. As far back as 2011, Alex Carella claimed both the World and Pole Position titles with the Qatar Team and he repeated the feat for the following two years. But Frenchman Philippe Chiappe broke the trend in 2014 when he earned a first world title but missed out on the Pole Position Trophy by a single point to Carella.
The following year, the Frenchman did the double and also won the Fast Lap Trophy and he recorded a clean sweep of all four titles in 2016. Carella was back to winning ways with Team Abu Dhabi in 2017 and the Italian won all three driver awards, while the team operating out of the ADIMSC secured the Teams’ title.
Torrente earned a first World Championship in 2018, beating Sweden’s Erik Stark by just four points, but his Abu Dhabi team-mate dominated the Pole Position Trophy and snatched the win by a staggering 42 points. In 2019, the American again won the championship only to lose out to Andersson and Chiappe for the Pole Position Trophy.
After racing resumed in 2021 after Covid-19 travel restrictions, Andersson earned his first world title after a thrilling finale in Portugal and also pipped Sami Seliö of Finland to the Pole Position Trophy by a single point. Last year, Torrente topped the World Championship rankings for a third time and also got the better of Andersson in the pole competition.