H2O Racing
Union Internationale Motonautique


March 29, 2024

Friday, March 29:  A late lap of 44.623sec by Team Vietnam’s defending World Champion Jonas Andersson was sufficient to win the first ever free practice session for the inaugural Grand Prix of Bình Định-Vietnam in Quy Nhơn early on Friday morning.


In a one-hour stint where the wind intensified as the session progressed and then eased again, the Swede recorded 30 laps on the 1.903km, six-pin circuit on Thi Nai Bay. He finished 0.317 seconds in front of the Victory Team’s Erik Stark.


In muggy and overcast early morning conditions and with a very slight breeze on the water, Stark made history by being the first F1H2O racer on to Vietnamese waters for an official timed session. Thani Al-Qamzi moved to the top of the rankings in the opening four minutes with a tour of 46.619sec with Rusty Wyatt, Stark and Stefan Arand trailing closely in his wake. Only Jonas Andersson and Peter Morin were left on the pontoon after six minutes of practice.


Ben Jelf then hit the front with a stormer of 45.877sec and Andersson opened his account with the second fastest run of 46.350sec, only for that to be surpassed by Wyatt’s flier of 46.341sec. Alberto Comparato limped round for one lap before returning to the pontoon with a broken engine and the F1 Atlantic Team’s Duarte Benavente also ran only one slow lap.


Ther wind began to pick up as the session entered the last 45 minutes. Andersson was able to record a fastest lap of 46.260sec to move into second behind Jelf and then the defending World Champion hit the top with a lap of 45.215sec heading into the remaining 40 minutes.


At the halfway point, Andersson’s lap of 45.215sec still stood proud and a spirited Jelf, Peter Morin, Arand and Al-Qamzi rounded off the top five. With the exception of Benavente and Comparato, the remaining 16 racers were all running laps under the 50-second barrier.


Wyatt was out to prove that the win in Indonesia was no flash in the pan and the Canadian moved into second with a run of 45.727sec. Andersson improved with a 45.174sec but only three racers had gone under 46 seconds with 25 minutes remaining on the clock. That was until Stark fired back into life and lifted himself into second behind Andersson with a lap of 45.586sec. Morin then displaced the Swede to claim second and Ferdinand Zandbergen of the Red Devil-SMC F1 Team climbed to fourth behind Andersson, Morin and Stark.


Comparato was able to return to the water in the final few minutes and ran his DAC for 18 laps, a best tour of 45.652sec putting the Italian into third at the expense of Morin, who had his best lap cancelled for a speeding infringement.


Strømøy Racing’s Bartek Marszalek left it late in the session to post a best run of 45.897sec that lifted the Pole into an eventual fifth at the expense of Zandbergen.


Wyatt, flying Finn Sami Seliö, Al-Qamzi and Arand rounded off the final top 10 with Marit Strømøy and Brent Dillard in 11th and 12th.  Jelf’s early fast lap was removed from the timings when he was punished for speeding in the entry/exit lane and the Briton slipped back to 13th.