Team Porter will return to running two boats in the 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship Series, bringing the T-5 out of backup status to return to competition, Team Owner Ted Porter announced today.
Cal Phipps has been named to drive the T-5 as Porter’s 7 Graham Trucking.
Porter also said the team will run both boats for the full season, and an expanded crew will be shared between the two boats. Tom Anderson returns as crew chief of the 1 Graham Trucking, while Brooke Tyler IV moves from the deck of the 1 to become crew chief of the 7.
“We truly will be two boats, one team,” Porter said. “We are very excited to be bringing back the 7, and doubling Graham Trucking’s exposure in the sport.”
Phipps served as Team Porter’s backup driver at Sacramento in 2013, and ran some impressive practice laps in his first time in the T-6.
“Cal’s laps in Sacramento certainly got the attention of our whole team – and especially me,” Porter said. “He ran laps that would have put him right there with the top two qualifiers at that race, and at that point, I knew there had to be a place for Cal in the unlimiteds.”
An accomplished Grand National driver, Phipps has also driven the 13 Spirit of Detroit for Dave Bartush in 2012, and served as backup driver in Nate Brown’s 17 Miss Red Dot in 2011. He has seven national championships in Grand National, and has set world records in two different classes. Phipps took his first laps in an unlimited in Bartush’s boat in 2008 at Tri-Cities, recording a speed in excess of 150 mph on his first lap.
“Bringing Cal on to run the second boat is just another example of my high level of confidence in Team Porter, and it’s why we’ve made an increased commitment to the team for this year,” said Rob Graham, president and CEO of Graham Trucking. “It’s pretty difficult to match winning four of the last five world championships, four of the seven races last season, and the 2013 national championship. And now we’re kicking it up just a little more with two first-class boats, a pair of top-notch drivers, and the best team in the pits.”
“I’m very excited about the coming season,” Graham added.
Phipps’ record in boat racing is excellent, as he has won in nearly all inboard classes since starting in 1992. He is a native of Detroit and is a custom automotive painting professional.
A long-time member of Team Porter, Tyler has a vast experience working on unlimited hydroplane crews, and it runs in his family. His father, Brooke Tyler III, also worked on the Team Porter roster early in the team’s history. Tyler, the fourth, has mainly worked on the deck and the turbine engines, gearboxes and other topside equipment, as one of two crew members who spent the majority of their time on top of the boat in the pits. He has also served as crew chief on the 7 in previous years on Porter’s team.
J. Michael Kelly also returns to the team this season, as driver of the 1 Graham Trucking (T-6).
Other members of Team Porter include members returning from the 2013 world and national championships Michael Adams, Bob Allen, Jim Bakke, Randy Doughty, Nelson Holmberg, Kevin Stoltz, Daryl Szymanski, and Andrew “Goober” Werling. New members include: Kent Block, Jerry Bowers, Teddy Dudley, Jeff Kelly, John Leschinski Bryan Pyziak, and Tony Scharf.
The 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship Series opens July 5-6 in Madison, Ind., and includes stops in Detroit; Tri-Cities, Wash; Seattle; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; San Diego; and Doha, Qatar.
More information about Team Porter can be found on the team’s website at www.u1racing.com.
The field for the Madison Regatta July 4-6 is now set –