Jimmy Shane drove the 6 Oberto to the fastest speed in the Friday afternoon qualifying session at San Diego’s Bayfair on Mission Bay but saw his 162.557 lap threatened by Kip Brown in the new 96 Spirit of Qatar.
Brown turned a lap of 161.963 on his second lap and had the Oberto crew ready to return to the race course as he started his third lap. But Brown slowed the Qatar on the backstretch and returned to the pits, leaving Shane and the Oberto team at the top of the ladder and keeping their top qualifying record intact.
Both drivers reported very rough water in turn one on the Bill Muncey Race Course, which appears to be very smooth from the shore.
Shane said he would have been back on the course if Brown had topped his speed. “We were ready to run again if we had to. The boat is a good setup for rough water and that’s a good thing because it does get very rough.”
Brown said, “We only took on enough fuel for two laps to see what the boat could do with a light load and that was it.”
Brown got some bad news from the tech truck when his fast lap was disallowed due to an N2 violation, but his 159.678 run earlier stood and kept him in second place.
Shane has been the fastest qualifier at every event on the H1 tour in 2014 and has beaten the team’s previous best at every event so far. Steve David was the top Bayfair qualifier in the Oberto in 2013 with a speed of 161.571.
Jon Zimmerman’s second round speed of 157.585 put the 9 RedDOT/Les Schwab Tires in third place and J. Michael Kelly, winner of the last stop on the tour at Seattle’s Seafair finished fourth with a speed of 157.285.
Eleven teams are in the pit area on Vacation Island and will be drawn into the first section of heats, set to begin at 1:40 pm Saturday.