Updated at 8 p.m. with Friday’s results
Jimmy Shane drove the Oberto hydroplane to the fastest of all qualifiers for the Gold Cup in Detroit Friday. Shane and the Oberto averaged over 162 1/2 mph for the 5-mile run.
Second was John Zimmerman in the Spirit of Qatar with an average speed of just over 160 mph. Followed, in order,by:
Graham Trucking J. Michael Kelly 159.454
Graham Trucking II. Cal Phipps 150.707
Al Deeby Dodge Brian Perkins 148.302
Webster Racing Mike Webster 141.261
Miss Dijullio Greg Hopp 133.836
Miss Peters and May Tom Thompson No time
Local Edmonds hydro Miss Peters and May suffered from gearbox problems that the crew hope to have resolved by Saturday morning..Racing starts at 1:40 p.m., Detroit time, and we’ll have the results here.
The unlimited hydroplanes have moved on to Detroit this weekend to run in the season’s premiere event, the Gold Cup.
Of the eight boats that raised in Madison last weekend, over half — including Edmonds’ own Miss Peters and May — suffered damage that resulted in late nights of repair early this week. Our local boat took a healthy jump off the water and went down, shaking the hydro violently and damaging the drive line. The Go Fast, Turn Left racing boat suffered extensive damage to its outside sponson, which required significant bodywork. Brian Perkins returns to drive the boat this weekend. John Zimmerman in the Red Dot, currently running as the Spirit of Qatar, suffered damage to the back of his boat and loss of stabilizer wings. These have been repaired for this coming weekend. Finally, Greg Hopp in the Miss DiJulio had damage to the boat’s protective canopy so it was unable to stay closed during the entire race. This, being a safety issue, resulted in immediate disqualification.
Missing from the fleet at this point is defending Gold Cup champion Kip Brown, who is scheduled to drive the new Spirit of Qatar, when it joins the circuit in Tri-Cities the end of this month.
Last week’s winner, J. Michael Kelly, comes into this week’s race full of confidence for yet another victory for his Graham Trucking hydroplane. His teammate, Cal Phipps, is entering this week’s race full of excitement. It is Phipps’ first opportunity to run for the Gold Cup in a truly competitive boat. The two Graham Trucking boats are the former Miss Budweiser hulls that dominated the sport in the past. Under new owner Ted Porter, they remain at the top of the field.
The other boat to contend with is the Oberto, perhaps the class of the field and a multi-time national champion. New driver Jimmy Shane, last year’s season champion in the Graham Trucking, seems to be settling into his new ride quite well. Shane was top qualifier and had a perfect day going into the final heat, but then made a mistake and jumped the gun at the start. This put the Oberto one lap down and the boat ended up in fourth place for the heat.
Despite several national championships, the Oberto team seems to be snakebitten at the Gold Cup. The last time the team won this prestigious race was in 1971.
Follow all of this weekend’s Gold Cup action here on My Edmonds News.
— By Harry Gatjens