Top Row Left to Right – J. Michael Kelly, Jimmy Shane, Jon Zimmerman
Bottom Row L to R – Hi Chairman Steve David, UIM VP Sami Abou Sheikha, QMSF Board Member Sameer Al-Amoudi – Ashraf Al Buy, QMSF PR.
Photo by Chris Denslow – H1
Jimmy Shane in the 6 Oberto Beef Jerky set the qualifying pace for the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Oryx Cup UIM World Championship Thursday afternoon with an average lap speed of 143.024. Shane might have a received a break during his first qualifying attempt even though he missed an out of place drifting buoy.
“I didn’t consider it a lucky break, I did exactly what the rule book says and I thought the first speed (138.001) should have counted,” said Shane. “But when we did go out a second time the water conditions were significantly better even though there were still some rollers in the second turn.”
J. Michael Kelly in the 1 Graham Trucking had the second fastest average speed hitting 142.803 during his first lap on the second qualifying run. Even though he had two more qualifying laps to try and pass Shane, Kelly brought the boat back to the pits.
“We ran a good lap, and we felt it was best to bring the boat back in and save the equipment,” Kelly said. “This boat has taken a beating all season long and this is still going to be a long weekend.”
Jon Zimmerman in the 9 Team RedDOT/Les Schwab boat made the qualifying podium with the third fast speed of 137.158.
The high salinity of the salt water and heavy rollers slowed qualifying speeds throughout the day so much that H1 Chairman Steve David dropped the minimum qualifying speed from 130 to 120.
Nine of the 10 boats qualified for the Oryx Cup while the Miss DiJulio team sat in the pits without its Lycoming Turbine engine. The engine was still in Qatar customs, and it is expected to be given to the team Friday morning.
The unlimited hydroplane fleet will be back on the water for testing tomorrow morning with the first set of elimination heats taking place at 1:00 pm GMT +3. The championship final heats will be run Saturday.