Jimmy Shane & J. Michael Kelly battle in the Roostertail Turn – Image by Lisa Courneya
DETROIT—With a strong thunderstorm cutting short the first day of the UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest APBA Gold Cup, the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane fleet did its best to stir up the Detroit River before the weather changed.
Jimmy Shane in the U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank made the most of the preliminary heat racing, winning both of his preliminary heats on Saturday afternoon. The two-time defending Gold Cup Champion captured Heat 1A after an exciting, four lap, deck-to-deck battle with J. Michael Kelly in the U-5 Graham Trucking.
Kelly grabbed the inside lane for the timed, flying start while Shane was forced to lane 4 on the outside. Kelly held off the HomeStreet Bank until the third lap in the tight, Roostertail turn. Shane used the outside lane to his advantage, keeping his RPM and speed up and getting past Kelly on the front straight. Kelly placed second with Tom Thompson in the U-11 Peters & May taking third.
Shane averaged 152.851 mph over the four-laps on the 2.7 mile course while Kelly averaged 152.249 mph. Shane also won Heat 2A edging Jeff Bernard in the U-7 Graham Trucking II.
Andrew Tate in the U-9 Delta RealTrac made it look easy in Heat 1B. He took the lead after the start and easily defeated Bernard in the U-7 Graham Trucking II and Corey Peabody in the U-57 Spirit of Detroit. He averaged 150.299 mph for the win.
Heat 2B was postponed shortly after 3 p.m., just prior to the inclement weather. Heat 2B will be run Sunday morning after the start of the Formula 2 and Grand Prix class racing.
The remaining preliminary heats and the winner-take all final will all be run on Sunday.
Kevin Eacret in the U-99.9 Leland Unlimited Miss Rock blew an engine in Heat 1A and was unable to race in 2A. The team will work through the night to get the boat ready for Sunday racing
While Andrew Tate won his only unlimited preliminary heat of the day, he also won two Grand Prix heats in another class of racing
H1 Unlimited will attempt to stream the Sunday racing. Check H1Unlimited.com for the update.