Victory Team begins historic ‘new era’ in Dubai Grand Prix
The Victory Team based in Dubai in the UAE has for over two decades been a world leader in the sport of professional international offshore powerboat racing.
Now it's their first full year in another challenge, F1H2O racing.
In the spring of 2015 the Victory Team turned a new page in their racing history book, deciding to tackle the world’s toughest circuit racing series electing to field a pair of boats in the 32-year-old UIM F1H2O World Championship.
Starting a new challenge in any professional racing circuit is never easy, especially when you are mixing new personnel, boats and ideas while starting out against the world's best drivers and crews.
Hastily putting together a new group of personnel, together with a well-used racing boat, they went out and hired one of the most dynamic young drivers in the world in American Shaun Torrente.
The Florida driver was leading the championship after winning the first race of the year in Doha.
He was able to join the team after his organisation disbanded, leaving the Miami driver available for hire.
Torrente was able to produce three top five finishes including a podium result at the last round of the season, helping the team to an eighth place in the Team Championship with 33 points.
He finished third in the drivers’ standings, all this, considering they were at full speed developing their own racing boat from scratch while 2015 rolled on.
Now, as the 2016 campaign officially 'kicks off' on their home waters for the very first time, next to the Le Meridien – Mina Seyahi and the iconic Palm Jumeirah on March 2, for the inaugural Grand Prix of Dubai the Victory Team wants to prove they not only belong, but they will also develop into a giant in the sport of F1H2O as well.
“We didn't decide last season to be just another team in this great international series,” said Torrente. “We were, then and now, jumping into this project feet first and plan on making this a new 'era' for the organization and for the history of the sport.
“The Victory Team has been synonymous with winning ever since it took up the challenge years ago in offshore racing. Now, we are once again going flat out producing new boats, equipment and futuristic ideas that I feel will make everyone excited that we are here pushing the limits of the sport and we have a future in F1H2O racing for years to come.”
With Torrente is offshore legend Nadir Bin Hendi. The driver from Dubai scored a remarkable 30 victories in his 68 race starts on the Class 1 Championship tour including four wins in Dubai.
The 46-year-old driver is developing into a fast learner. Since joining the series at last years’ third round in Porto, Portugal, he earned his first points of the year in Sharjah at the final round of 2015 with a ninth place finish and has progressed even more with impressive test times over the winter in preparations for a new season.
Since the final chequered flag on the Khalid Lagoon in mid-December the Victory organization has built a pair of brand new 'Victory' boats. They will once again be coloured in their historic dark blue with yellow trim on the bottom of the boat.
The team will also introduce their new boat numbers for the 2016 season, Bin Hendi carrying the number three with Torrente the number four, a “good luck” number that he's done well with in his racing career including numerous national and international titles wearing it on the side of his hull.
So, as the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) begins the start of a multi-year agreement to bring the world's most exciting series on water to the spectacular location of the rapidly developing waterfront, near the iconic Palm Jumeirah, the Victory Team looks forward to embarking on their first full season in F1H2O.
They are hoping their non-stop continuous hard work pays off for them, hopefully becoming a world power in the sport as well.
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