Scoring for the start of the 2013 Final Heat. Photo by Chris Denslow - H1
With two stops remaining on the 2014 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Tour, Jimmy Shane, driver of the 6 Oberto, will start the weekend at Bayfair on San Diego’s Mission Bay with a 923 point lead over second place J. Michael Kelly in the 1 Graham Trucking.
Kelly used his uncanny ability to secure an inside lane to score an impressive victory in the Albert Lee Appliance Seafair Cup and narrow Shane’s lead by 220 points, but the young veteran from Bonney Lake, Washington will need two more strong races to have any chance of catching Shane, the 2013 series champion from nearby Covington, Washington.
Shane says the Oberto team is not comfortable with that lead and won’t be letting up. Adding the game plan is to, “Race like we always do, run hard every heat and score as many points as possible. We would like to increase the lead before we go to Doha.”
Kelly is in the boat Shane drove to the 2013 Series Championship and Shane says, “The Graham Trucking is obviously very fast and Mike is a great driver. I know that boat very well and I know what it took to beat the Oberto boat last year, so I know where they have to be.”
Shane added, “We love the San Diego race course. It’s one of our super speedways. Our goal will be to continue to improve and qualify faster than the boat did there last year, as we have at every race this year.”
Kelly’s team mate Cal Phipps in the 7 Graham Trucking II has used strong, consistent finishes throughout the season to put his team in third place. Jon Zimmerman in the 9 RedDOT-Les Schwab Tires is fourth.
Greg O’Farrell, owner of GoFastTurnLeft Racing and Billy Schumacher, owner of Schumacher Racing, have announced that Schumacher Racing’s 37 hull will take the place of GFTL’s 21 for the event and wear the number 21, the number currently in fifth place in series points.
GFTL’s 21 was badly damaged in a blow-over accident at the HAPO Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities in July and is undergoing extensive repairs in the team’s shop in Maple Valley, Washington.
O’Farrell called it a “win-win” for both teams explaining, “It’s great for us and the Schumachers since it will benefit them at both of the remaining races and it keeps the 21 number active for us. We plan to be back using the number next season.”
Teams will arrive in the pit area on Vacation Island in Mission Bay and set up on Thursday. Testing and qualifying are set for Friday with two preliminary heats scheduled for Saturday afternoon. More prelims and the championship final heat will run on Sunday and the 2014 Bayfair Championship will be decided with the final heat at 4:45 pm Sunday.
Eleven teams are expected to compete. Preliminary roster -
# Boat Name Driver
1 Graham Trucking J. Michael Kelly
6 Oberto Jimmy Shane
7 Graham Trucking II Cal Phipps
9 Team RedDOT - Jon Zimmerman
11 Peters & May Tom Thompson
12 Miss DiJulio Greg Hopp
18 Bucket List Racing Kelly Stocklin
21 Schumacher Racing Scott Liddycoat
22 Big 5 Sporting Goods Mike Webster
96 Spirit of Qatar Kip Brown
100 Tony Roma's Dave Warren