TEAM SWEDEN SIGNS AGREEMENT TO BECOME TEAM VIETNAM BÌNH ÐỊNH FOR NEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON
- FDLH to become title sponsor for 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship
Thursday, January 18: Team Sweden has joined forces with the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam and will be known as Team Vietnam Bình Định for the 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship. The news was announced at a press conference at Qui Nhon in the Bình Định province today (Thursday).
It was also announced that FDLH (Fleur de Lys Hospitality) will become the title sponsor for the 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship.
Two-time World Champion Jonas Andersson is the team’s lead driver and has confirmed that Estonian rookie Stefan Arand will become his team-mate for the new season.
Vietnam will host round two of the championship at the end of March in Bình Ðịnh Province but wanted to be more closely represented throughout the year and the agreement has been made between Andersson and state officials for Team Sweden to be rebranded as Team Vietnam Bình Ðịnh.
This major announcement will see the Asian powerhouse following in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi, China, Sharjah and Qatar and putting their name in a team’s title. Vietnam will also host the opening round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship in the run up to the F1H2O event and is working on other exciting projects. The country is set to become one of the most important venues in the world of powerboating and aqua biking.
Mr. Tram Viet Anh, CEO of FDLH (Fleur de Lys Hospitality), Mr. Phan Anh Tuan, Chairman of Binh Dinh Province, Mr Lam Hai Giang Vice Chairman of Binh Dinh Provincial People’s Commitee and Raimondo di San Germano, General Manager of H2O Racing, were present at the press conference.
Announcing the ground-breaking developments, Mr. Tran Viet Anh said:
“Vietnam is a country that is intensively passionate about sports. F1 motorboat racing is a new sport in Vietnam, so we want to popularise this speedy and adventurous sport to more Vietnamese people and hope that in the future there will be more than one racing team from Vietnam.”
Mr. Lam Hai Giang said:
“We hope to participate in this racing team to promote the image of Bình Ðịnh in particular and Vietnam in general to the world.”
Raimondo di San Germano added:
“We are delighted to see Vietnam taking a closer interest in the championship with support for the team that led the way in 2023. Everyone involved with H2O Racing is looking forward to racing here for the first time in March and to see the sport expanding in this part of the world.”
One of the key moments of the press conference was when Mr Viet Anh, Mr Tuan and Raimondo di San Germano placed their hands on the screen and the new Team Vietnam Bình Ðịnh logo appeared after a short countdown.
Meanwhile, Arand will be making his debut in the World Championship after finishing third overall behind Rashed Al-Qemzi and Edgaras Riabko in his debut season with a DAC running under the Stefan Arand Racing banner in last year’s UIM F2 World Championship. The Estonian’s dream is to become F1H2O World Champion after earning the UIM F4 World and European Championship titles in 2022. Earlier this week he was awarded the 2023 Driver of the Year at the Estonian Powerboating Union Awards’ Ceremony.
In addition to working as one of Team Sweden’s pontoon mechanics next season, Johan Österberg will be the team’s reserve driver. The 48-year-old is a regular competitor in the UIM F2 World Championship and has been racing since 1986. Last year he finished seventh in the UIM F2 series.
A delighted Jonas Andersson said:
“I have had a meeting with the new driver Stefan and I am very happy to say we have made a deal and he will become the new driver in my team. He was F4 World Champion in 2022 and third in F2 last year in his first season. He is only 20-years-old, so I am very happy for this now. I think we can become a very strong team.”
Andersson completed a clean sweep of all the major honours in 2023, the veteran adding the UIM F1H2O Pole Position Trophy and the UIM Fast Lap Trophy to his second Drivers’ title in three seasons, in addition to powering Team Sweden to a first UIM Teams’ Championship.