By Harry Gatjens
The Edmonds-based Miss Peters and May is in San Diego this weekend for the last race of the United States portion of the 2012 schedule. Owner/crew chief Scott Raney has been preparing the boat for the added difficulties salt water racing presents.
The biggest news for the team is that owner/driver J. W. Myers has had to step down from his driving duties. He injured his shoulder when the boat crashed earlier this year in Detroit. His efforts to drive the boat in the two Washington races has led to further deterioration of his shoulder’s condition.
New driver Tom Thompson was chosen after an extensive search to fill in for the remainder of the season. Thompson has significant experience in several limited class hydroplanes on the East Coast. He has been a member of the American Power Boat Association’s “Hall of Champions” for the past three years.
Owner Shannon Raney says that Thompson is the “complete package” they were looking for in a driver. He is a talented driver, excellent with fans and probably most importantly a great representative for sponsors.
On Friday, Thompson fulfilled all of his requirements — 15 laps during testing and qualifying, with 10 of those over 130 mph — to qualify as an unlimited class driver.
Thompson was thrilled to have qualified so easily Friday morning. “Wow, what a feeling,”he said. “The Peters & May team did a fantastic job setting up what is a great boat. Super excited! Thanks to the whole team.”
There are 12 boats on hand to compete in this weekend’s event. Racing starts Saturday at 2 p.m. Follow the race results here on My Edmonds News all weekend long.
After the San Diego race, the boat will get packed up and shipped to Doha, Qatar for the season-ending race. Thompson is expected to drive the boat at that race also.