Shane Repeats at Oryx Cup

Front row: Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, Sami Abu Shaika (QMSF), Sam Cole (H1) Back row: Jon Zimmerman, Jimmy Shane, Steve David - Photo by Bill Osborne - H1

It was a case of déjà vu in slightly easier circumstances for Jimmy Shane and his 5 Graham Trucking team, who raced to victory in the 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final in Doha Bay on Tuesday afternoon.

No driver had ever won the Oryx Cup twice and Shane duly re-wrote the history books with his second win in the space of a month when he cruised to a comfortable triumph once main rival Steve David was penalized a lap before the start for making a premature move on his rival to take the inside line on the back straight of the pre-race warm-up lap.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Shane, who didn’t have a full-time H1 ride until 18 months ago. “I will be a father for the first time in three and a half months time and to win here in Qatar two times in less than two months is a superb start to the year for me.

The race proved to be an anti-climax to three thrilling days of racing in Qatar, with Jon Zimmerman holding on to take second place – after finishing third in January – and David lapping both Mark Evans and Ryan Mallow to place third, despite running a penalty lap.

“We have a spotter on the tower to watch when we pick up speed and make a move,” said David. “I was sure that we were okay and we appealed against the decision, but it was not to be. It was one of those things.”

It was a disappointing finale to the week’s racing for Kip Brown in the 95 Spirit of Qatar. He was forced out of the race before the start with engine problems. “”I think we salted up the engine,” admitted Brown. “I had the salt door closed, but I think we got some in through the inlet valve. The exhaust gas temperature started to climb and it was as much as I could do to get the boat back to the pits. It’s very disappointing. You win some, you lose some.”

In the previous four Oryx Cup UIM World Championship races there had never been a double winner. J. Michael Kelly won the inaugural race in 2009, Dave Villwock was triumphant in 2010 for the Spirit of Qatar Team and Scott Liddycoat and Jimmy Shane won in 2011 and 2012.

Tom Thompson, who had been injured in a spectacular crash involving 11 Miss Peters & May and 21 Snoqualmie Casino on Saturday afternoon, had been released from the hospital and was able to watch the action unfold.

Steve David made a better start to heat 4A than rival Jimmy Shane never looked back. The 1 Oh Boy! Oberto driver, from Lighthouse Point, Florida, accelerated away from his young rival to claim his third heat win of the week. Shane finished well ahead of third-placed Jon Zimmerman.

A jumped start cost J. Michael Kelly any chance of winning heat 4B in 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing and Kip Brown was able to cruise to the checkered flag and scor his second heat win of the weekend, with Kelly coming home in third behind Mark Evans before being disqualified for a fuel violation.

The Oryx Cup UIM World Championship was organized by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, in conjunction with H1 Unlimited. On the final podium, H1 chairman Sam Cole also signed a five-year deal with Sheikh Hassan to continue to run the Oryx Cup in Doha until 2018.

A strong south-south-easterly wind prevented 18 junior hydro racers from taking to the water in their allotted morning slot in the day’s activities, but J.W. Myers and QMSF staff found a window for the rookies to test themselves on a short trial course on Tuesday afternoon. In front of a giant crowd, young Sheikh Nawaf bin Hassan Al-Thani led the impressive list of potential stars of the future into action to kick-start a new dawn of junior racing and training at the QMSF.

David, Zimmerman, Shane and Ryan Mallow were drawn together in the first of the day’s two heats that preceded the Oryx Cup Final. David and Shane had been particularly impressive in their previous showdowns on Doha Bay and fireworks were expected from the outset. The strong wind had delayed the start of the heats until mid-afternoon and Shane opted for the inside line as the quartet entered the ‘score-up’ area at the one-minute mark.

But David was carrying a little more boat speed than Shane and accelerated by the 5 Graham Trucking going down the back straight and was far enough in front to takr the inside line heading into what turned out to be a legal start. David never looked back from then on and edged clear of Shane as the heat progressed. He sealed the 400 points for the heat win, with Shane taking second, Zimmerman finishing third and Mallow coming home a distant fourth.

Brown lined up alongside Kelly and Mark Evans in heat 4B and had an excellent opportunity to give 95 Spirit of Qatar its second heat win of the week. His cause was made that much easier when Kelly was penalized a lap for jumping the start. There was no need for the QMSF-backed driver to push over the three-lap race and he trailed Kelly to the chequered flag, safe in the knowledge that Kelly had to race an extra lap to secure third and Evans was a distant second. Kelly was later disqualified for a fuel violation.

Six of the seven surviving boats qualified for the final, although Mallow, who had missed out when the points amassed during qualifying and the four heats were totalled, was handed a stay of execution when Kelly’s team manager decided not to enter the 37 as the trailer boat. It would prove to be a costly decision.

All eyes were on the potential showdown between David and Shane and whether Brown or Zimmerman could become the fifth different winner of the Oryx Cup in as many years. But engine problems cost Brown his place in the final on the run  to the start and, when David was judged to have overtaken Shane and jumped into lane one before he should have, the way was open for Shane to take control.

Safe in the knowledge that David had to run a penalty lap, Shane eased his pace through the five-lap final and shadowed David to the chequered flag. Zimmerman reached the finish with a spluttering engine in second and David ran his extra lap to finish third, lapping Evans in the process. Mallow had already fallen by the wayside when Evans was deemed to have strayed off the course and was disqualified.

Thanks to Neil Perkins – QMSF Publicity

Oryx Cup – UIM World Championship – H1 Unlimited Heats

4A

 

U-1

Steve David

Oh Boy! Oberto

400 points

2.

U-5

Jimmy Shane

Graham Trucking

300 points

3.

U-9

Jon Zimmerman

Jones Racing

225 points

4.

U-100

Ryan Mallow

Miss Fox Plumbing

169 points

4B

1.

U-95

Kip Brown

Spirit of Qatar

400 points

2.

U-57

Mark Evans

Formulaboats.com

300 points

 

U-37

J. Michael Kelly

Miss Beacon Plumbing

DSQ

Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final

1.

U-5

Jimmy Shane

Graham Trucking

400 points

2.

U-9

Jon Zimmerman

Jones Racing

300 points

3.

U-1

Steve David

Oh Boy! Oberto

225 points

 

U-100

Ryan Mallow

Miss Fox Plumbing

DNF

 

U-57

Mark Evans

Formulaboats.com

DSQ

 

U-95

Kip Brown

Spirit of Qatar

DNS