H2O Racing
Union Internationale Motonautique


March 28, 2024

Thursday, March 28:  Senior officials and three drivers attended the official pre-event press conference for the inaugural Grand Prix of Bình Định-Vietnam  in Quy Nhơn on Thursday morning.


The press conference was attended by Ông Trần Việt Anh, Chairman of F1 Bình Định, Ông Bùi Trung Hiếu, Vice-President of Sport and Cultural Department Bình Định province, Nicoló di San Germano, founder of H2O Racing, Raimondo di San Germano, general manager of H2O Racing, Team Vietnam’s Jonas Andersson and Stefan Arand and the Sharjah Team’s championship leader Rusty Wyatt. The press conference preceded the official launch of Team Vietnam to the local media in the paddock adjacent to the main grandstand. 


After an opening introduction to an impressive array of local television personnel and written media by Ông Trần Việt Anh, Nicoló di San Germano said: “We are happy to be in Vietnam in the beautiful province of Bình Định. The first time I came to Vietnam to organise an event like this was in 1996. Then I came back in 2006 and finally, last year, we came back and our wish became reality. Today, I want to thank all the people and the cooperation of many economic, social and political sides to create this winning team. You have created a perfect organisation.


“Vietnam is entering at the top of powerboating and is entering with the best organisation possible. You have a very strong team. With Jonas (Andersson) as your driver, and your organising team, you have the perfect combination. I am a dreamer. And I have a dream that F1H2O boats and engines will be built in Vietnam. Step-by-step, I am sure with your team that we can reach those goals to make my dream a reality!”


Ông Bùi Trung Hiếu added: “This is the first time we have a World Championship happening in Bình Định province. Through this event we are not just organising a powerboat race but we are also trying to promote the cultural image and heritage of Bình Định province to the international friends we have. We will also use the opening ceremony on Saturday to launch our federation. For the long term, we plan to have an academy and training for jet ski in Vietnam. We have around 50 or 60 clubs. They work individually with amateurs and we need to change those clubs into professionals. We will try to host a National Championship for professionals. This is what we have learned so far from Indonesia. They have hosted a race for two years and already have a National Championship. This is what we have so far as part of the five-year project. We have the copyright licence from H2O Racing.”


Two-time World Champion Andersson said: “I hope we can have a very successful race and a good result for the many people who will come here to support us. I’m sure it will be a great fight with Erik (Stark). He was living in my house a few years ago. He is like my son and he is going to be one of the toughest guys to beat in this race. But we have done it before and hopefully we can do it here on our home race. I think we can beat him! Sure, the temperature is a big difference. When I went from home last Friday, it was 10 minus (°C). But we always race in countries where it is hot. This is going to be the hottest one. I have never experienced this kind of weather before. I don’t think it is going to be a problem. We will drink a lot of water. That’s it!”


A year ago, Stefan Arand was preparing for a season in the UIM F2 World Championship and now he heads into this weekend as Team Vietnam’s talented new rookie in joint fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship. The young Estonian said: “It looks very nice. I also like the fact that the people are so friendly. We have enjoyed our time here thus far. Of course, we hope to beat the result on Lake Toba. Fourth place was a surprise, even for us. We came to Toba with no practice, no experience in the boat whatsoever and I sat in the boat for the first time in the free practice. It was a surprising result. We are very hopeful that we can match that result.


Then again, the team is not putting a great amount of pressure on me to do better. What’s important for them is that I try my best. That’s all we can do. It was hot in Toba and now, I think, for race day it could be 10 degrees hotter. It’s going to be a challenge to keep the fluids in but we are trying different things to cool the drivers down and to keep the fluids inside us. There is a bit of pressure, I guess, with all eyes on us in a sense, but we will try not to let that pressure get to us. There are important Vietnamese people telling us we need to go for the win but we tell them we will try our best, If we win, we win. If we don’t, it’s not the end of the world. It is going to be a long season ahead. We just need to get those valuable points in the standings.”


Championship leader Wyatt added: “First off, I am really happy to be here in Vietnam for my first race here and to see a local team here. That’s quite cool. The climate is quite different. Where I come from in Ontario, it’s currently -5°C and it’s quite hot here. That takes a bit of getting used to. The race course here is going to be a little bit different.  It’s on the sea, of course, and we had freshwater in Indonesia. Coming out of there with the win, I guess there’s a bit of pressure on but I think we are going to perform quite good here. We’ve done a bit of homework in the short time we have had and I really hope we can come out with a strong finish. It’s a beautiful place. It’s my first time here in Vietnam. We are enjoying it..”