Monday, July 14, 2014

Jimmy Shane wins Detroit Gold Cup in U-6 Oberto unlimited hydroplane

Jimmy Shane

DETROIT – The winner cried. So did the man who thought he should have won.
Jimmy Shane took advantage of a foul by J. Michael Kelly and drove the U-6 Oberto to victory in the Gold Cup final on the Detroit River on Sunday.
It was the first DYC Detroit APBA Gold Cup win for a boat sponsored by Oberto Beef Jerky, which has been in the unlimited hydroplane racing game since 1975.
Steve David, a long-time driver for Oberto, whose retirement prior to this season opened the cockpit for Shane, was the Gold Cup runner-up 12 times.
Shane’s boat, also known as the Miss Madison and owned by the citizens of the Indiana town of Madison, won despite breaking a part on the rear of the boat about halfway through the race.
It was the first Gold Cup for a Miss Madison boat since 1971 when Jim McCormick was the driver.
“This is a childhood dream,” Shane, choking back tears, said after his seventh career unlimited hydroplane victory. “To put my name on the Gold Cup is great.
“I could not be any happier for the city of Madison and the Oberto company. This is a wonderful experience for these guys.”
Kelly, the winner in the final of the Madison Regatta last weekend thanks to a foul against Shane, had a similar Gold Cup misfortune after what otherwise was a solid weekend in the U-1 Graham Trucking boat
Kelly, who said his cockpit timer and GPS malfunctioned, was too quick getting to the marker boats must not reach before the start of the race is one minute away.
That gave Kelly a one-lap penalty and took him out of contention for what would have been his first Gold Cup victory.
The penalty aside, Kelly drove his boat at top speed and crossed the finish about a quarter-lap ahead of Shane’s, but he officially finished fourth in the H1 Unlimited event.
“Nobody’s going to purposely take it from you,” Kelly, who was in tears following the race, said, dismissing the notion of an improper call.
“Now I know what Steve David went through. I know what he feels like; it sucks.
“On the water, you win the Gold Cup, but for the rules you don’t. How long am I going to have to wait for a Gold Cup?”
Kelly had an average speed of 144.534 mph in the final. Shane, who over the final couple laps nursed the boat after the U-6 broke a rear stabilizer bar, averaged 140.863.
“We showed we can beat them,” Kelly said.
Brian Perkins finished second in the U-21 Al Deeby Dodge of Go Fast Turn Left Racing. His average speed was 134.876.
Cal Phipps drove the U-7 Graham Trucking boat to a third-place finish.
The Sterling Heights native’s team set up the U-7 for a rough-water final, he said, but the hydroplane didn’t have the speed of some others in the five-boat final.
“We didn’t have all the top-end speed,” Phipps, who nonetheless was satisfied with the finish, said.  “We don’t have a hurt piece (boat). We’re on the podium.”
Shane leads the H1 Unlimited points list with 3,569 after piling up a Gold Cup-high 2,100 in Detroit. Kelly is second with 3,019.
Shane was the top qualifier and won all four heat races he was placed in at the Gold Cup competition.
Kelly won three of four heats, missing out on first place only in the first heat of the competition, which included Shane.
The weekend began with eight boats hoping to compete for the Gold Cup.
But various mechanical problems took out the U-9 Team Red Dot/Spirit of Qatar; the U-11 Peters & May and the U-12 SERVPRO Miss DiJulio. None of those boats raced Sunday.
The U-22 Webster Racing boat had ignition issues early Sunday, owner Steve Webster said.
The boat was repaired and competed in the final, but was never a factor and finished fifth.

Shane won the H1 Unlimited points championship last season driving for Graham Trucking.


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