Team Porter Racing and the new Wiggins Hydroplane Racing unlimited team have announced drivers for the 2015 season and the announcements are related.
Cal Phipps will move from team Porter to the new Wiggins team based in Gadsden, Alabama. Milt and Charlie Wiggins recently purchased Our Gang Racing’s U-17 boat and support equipment.
Phipps drove Porter’s U-7 Graham Trucking to a strong third place finish in 2014 season high points behind Jimmy Shane in the U-6 Oberto/Miss Madison and teammate J. Michael Kelly in the U-1 Graham Trucking.
The move created an open seat in the U-7 which will be filled by third year driver Jesse Robertson. Robertson qualified as an unlimited driver during the 2013 season, driving Mark Evans’ 57 FEDCO in Seattle. He also drove two heats – including a fourth-place finish in the final at the 2013 Diamond Cup in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He also drove the 12 Miss DiJulio at the 2014 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship.
Wiggins’ choice of Phipps was not unexpected, as the Sterling Heights, Michigan driver and the Wiggins family have a long history.
“We go back about 30 years,” explaned Charlie Wiggins. “Cal and I raced against each other in 1 Liters, then he bought our boat and we built motors for him. After I retired from driving, we got back into racing with our Unlimited Lite and Cal drove for us. We moved up to the G Boats and the Grand Prix Series and Cal moved up with us.”
Wiggins added, “My dad and I are very excited about racing in the H1 Unlimited Series and there is no driver in the world we would rather have in the boat than Cal Phipps.”
In announcing the new driver for the U-7, Ted Porter said, ““Jesse has a great attitude and his driving ability continues to improve, so bringing him in is a very good fit for our team. I look forward to seeing him drive the T-5 so he can truly have fun driving an unlimited.”
“When I was with the 57 team back in 2013, we frequently pitted next to Team Porter Racing and I saw first-hand their professionalism and the success their team celebrated,” Robertson said. “Driving for them now is going to be awesome!”
Robertson has raced everything from outboard and inboard hydroplanes to unlimiteds and has enjoyed success on the way to his first full-time ride, with Team Porter Racing.
“Jesse will continue to be a great face for the sport as well as a force to be reckoned with on the race course,” Porter said. “I am looking forward to having Jesse as part of our team in 2015.”
Porter said the support from the team’s title sponsor has been critical to the success of Team Porter Racing.
“A big thank you to Rob Graham who has fully supported our driver choices, and our team, throughout the years,” Porter said. “A large portion of our success is due to Rob’s continued support.”
Porter added, “Cal was an awesome member of our team last year. He will be missed, and we appreciate everything he did. I truly am happy for Cal and the opportunity he has with his new team.”