Wednesday, October 25: The UIM F1H2O Fast Lap Trophy often goes under the radar in terms of exposure but the season-end winner is the racer who has cumulatively delivered the best lap performances in each of the races during the calendar.
Heading to this year’s finale at the Grand Prix of Sharjah-Road to Sharjah on December 8th-10th, Team Sweden’s Jonas Andersson is tied with the Sharjah Team’s Ferdinand Zandbergen on 52 points apiece and they will battle it out during the race in Sharjah in a bid to claim the trophy on Khaled Lagoon. Peter Morin of the China CTIC Team is third, albeit 22 points adrift and out of contention.
It all started so well for Bartek Marszalek of the Strømøy Racing F1H2O Team with his pole position and Grand Prix double at the Kopiko Grand Prix of Indonesia and a fastest race lap of 1min 02.23sec. But the Polish racer has not featured in the Fast Lap Trophy points since that memorable weekend on Lake Toba. Shaun Torrente and Peter Morin picked up points for second and third in southeast Asia.
Fast forward a couple of months to the Grand Prix of Zhengzhou-China and our current leaders, Andersson and Zandbergen, were the fastest men on the Yellow River course. The recently crowned World Champion recorded the unbeatable benchmark lap of 47.36 seconds to claim the maximum 20 points and his Dutch rival finished 0.6 seconds adrift in second, with Torrente picking up points for third with a lap of 48.11 seconds.
Despite seeing Andersson storm through to win the Grand Prix of France by 2.30 seconds, Zandbergen picked up the 20 points for the fastest lap of 36.255 seconds on the narrow, high-speed race course on the River Saône in Mâcon. Mad Croc Gillman Racing’s Grant Trask got among the points with the second fastest tour of 36.298 seconds and Andersson picked up 12 points for third with a best tour of 36.390 seconds.
Andersson dominated the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy in Sardinia and won the race by 4.95 seconds from Morin. The Swede also carded the best lap of the race – a flier of 37.752 seconds – to edge out both the Victory Team’s Erik Stark and Zandbergen to maximum Fast Lap Trophy points.
Recent statistics for the Fast Lap Trophy on www.f1h2o.com show the following:-
Frenchman Philippe Chiappe finished ahead of both Sami Seliö and Alex Carella that year on his way to two race wins, two second places and the World Championship. The following year, Chiappe retained his world title with the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China Team and also claimed the Pole Position Trophy and the Fast Lap Trophy by 21 points from none other than Andersson. Torrente was classified in third.
Alex Carella was the dominant force in 2017 and the Italian claimed the world and pole position titles as well as the Fast Lap Trophy. He finished 15 points in front of Torrente in the latter and a staggering 34 clear of third-placed Chiappe.
Despite finishing only fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, Morin cruised to victory in the Fast Lap Trophy in 2018, the CTIC F1 Shenzhen China driver amassing 81 points to finish the season 22 clear of Stark and 28 ahead of a tying Torrente and Thani Al-Qamzi of Team Abu Dhabi.
The following season delivered a similar pattern with Torrente sealing another world title but Morin prevailing in the Fast Lap Trophy. The Frenchman only finished three races during the year but scored well in the Fast Lap Trophy and managed to retain it by finishing 10 points clear of a tying Marszalek and Al-Qamzi.
After a year’s shut down because of Covid-19 restrictions, racing returned with a reduced Grand Prix calendar in 2021 and Andersson claimed his first world title and the Fast Lap Trophy, the Swede finishing 12 points clear of rival Torrente in the latter.
Last year, Torrente pinched the world title from Andersson in a Sharjah thriller and Team Abu Dhabi claimed a clean sweep of all the trophies, but it was the American’s team-mate Al-Qamzi who snatched the Fast Lap Trophy by just two points from the tying American and Andersson.