Ever since the 2018 season when all the UIM Hydro GP classes (F-125, F-250 and F-500) gained World Championship status, the series has gone from strength to strength. Now, following the pandemic there are positive signs in terms of a growing interest to organise Hydro GP events once again with four rounds hopefully set be staged in 2022.
Prior to the pandemic the F-250 class was dominated by one of the most successful teams seen on the circuit. Claudio Fanzini from Caorso, Italy along with Alfred Fanzini and Gianni Favaas combined to win five World Championship titles and three European Championships, in both the F-250 and F-350 classes. From the start of the 2018 season through to the conclusion of the 2019 one Claudio Fanzini won all seven F-250 championship rounds. The Italian, who won his first UIM title back in 2010 now holds three F-250 world championship titles.
Last season the F-250 championship title battle was not such a one-sided affair, in fact two racers could have won the title with the final outcome certainly going ‘down to the wire’.
It all started in Boretto, Italy, where the Hungarian racer Péter Bodor, who won the title back in 2017 would start the season as favourite to win the title. Verona Racing Products made sure that Bodor was able to start the season with a brand-new engine which he quickly put to effective use. Although he wasn’t the quickest in qualifying that honour went to his Italian rival Alex Cremona, the Hungarian racer successfully turned the tables on both Alex and his brother Massimiliano when he won all three heats on the River Po circuit.
Following the race Bodor said.
The Italians really have a big advantage there, but if you want to be a champion you have to be the best.
Back in Dunakeszi, just north of Budapest Bodor had mixed feelings about the race weekend as the English racers were not allowed to travel, the Swedish competitors did not come, and only one German racer arrived. But, despite the long absence from racing, as he did not compete at all in 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic, he felt his team had worked well together and that being able to reach the top of the podium at the opening round of the championship gave them a positive feeling about 2021.
During the event in Boretto the competitors had learned that the race in Mora, Sweden would be cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation, so next up for them would be Ternopil, Ukraine in August.
This time around it would be Alex Cremona though who would leave Ukraine with maximum championship points after comfortably taking victory in all three heats while Bodor was totally off the pace.
I had all the time a good feeling with the boat in all the heats. Thanks to the support from our engine manufacturer GRM I have been quick in qualifying. It’s my first complete year after my bad crash in 2019… but me and the boat are coming back to be competitive once again.
Bodor was slightly more down beat.
In Hungary we carried out some development work on the engine before we travelled to Ternopil. Unfortunately, the engine did not work perfectly due to a bad vibration which destroyed many of the parts.
With both racers on equal points the world championship would now be decided at the final round held in the market town of Jedovnice in the Czech Republic.
Before the race Bodor said.
After Ternopil I was so relieved that we got a third place and remained in the championship fight. I know that Carlo from VRP will bring the best engines too. I am calm, I have that focus but we are also prepared for anything, plus we have also made some aerodynamic development to the hull which we are confident about.
Qualifying would see Bodor on pole position for heat one with Cremona right alongside. Tension was high as the pack sped off, so much so that Bodor was docked a lap for rounding a mark the wrong way. The Bulgarian Viktor Ivanov would also have a lap docked for the same offence along with a yellow card which Cremona also received along with that all important victory in the opening heat.
Now it was all down to the second heat with Cremona on pole. After the Italian made the perfect start, a reel broke on his hull leaving him stranded on Lake Olšovec, it was now advantage Bodor who won the heat. He now knew that all he had to do in the third and final heat was just stay ahead of Cremona, easier said than done. In the end a third-place finish would be good enough for the Hungarian to take the maximum twenty championship points available and with it the 2021 UIM F-250 World Championship title.
Péter Bodor was quick to thank those that backed his attempt at winning the title.
I am grateful to my sponsors who, despite all the difficulties persevered with the us and contributed to the success of the team. The end result speaks for itself.
Hydro GP UIM F-250 2022 World Championship
13-15 May Jedovnice – Czech Republic
10-12 June Boretto – Italy
29-30 July Mora – Sweden
27-28 August Ternopil – Ukraine
UIM F-250 2022 European Championship
23-26 June Znin – Poland