The Hydros are coming…
…The Hydros are coming!
Four H1 Unlimited Hydroplane teams set to test leading up to Southern Cup
Four H1 Unlimited hydroplane race teams are set to kick off the 2018 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series on June 1, 2018, in preparation for the season opener at the Southern Cup on Guntersville Lake, Alabama, on June 22-24. A temporary river course representing the 2-1/2 mile course will be available for H1 Unlimited hydroplane testing next to Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington. The testing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and is free to the general public.
The four teams expected include defending national champion Jimmy Shane (Maple Valley, Washington) and the U-1 Miss HomeStreet as well as national champion runner-up Andrew Tate (Walled Lake, Michigan) in the U-9 Les Schwab Tires. Also, the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tools presents J&D’s, driven by Tom Thompson (Cambridge, Maryland), and the U-440 Bucket List Racing, driven by 2017 rookie of the year Dustin Echols (Sultan, Washington), will be testing on the Columbia River in the Tri-Cities, Washington.
For the 11th year in a row, the Tri-City Water Follies will host the daylong pre-season testing. “We are grateful to our friends from Water Follies for putting on this testing event,” said H1 Unlimited Acting Chairman, Charlie Grooms. “It gives our teams an important chance to get on the water with their equipment before the first race.”
The Reliable Diamond Tools presents J&D’s last attended the pre-season test in 2012 and is preparing to test various race combinations and boat configurations that they normally would not run at the races. “Scott (Raney) and the crew have been working on a few changes to the U-11 this winter,” said driver Tom Thompson. “I’m very excited to check out these changes in the Tri-Cities. This will allow us to be more prepared for the season opener in Alabama.”
Last season, several teams, including the Miss HomeStreet and Les Schwab Tires, participated in the pre-season test and found they gained much information that they applied to the race season. Between the two teams, they won four out of five championship trophies in 2017.
Dustin Echols, the driver of the Bucket List Racing hydro, said his team wants to see how all of the changes they made to the boat are going to work. “We rebuilt our engines, upgraded our gearbox program even further, and we have a full arsenal of propellers that we are excited to try,“ he said. The team hopes to increase its lap speeds to the 150 miles-per-hour range, according to Echols.
The event will be live-streamed on the Internet by local TV affiliate SWX Right Now-Sports (KNDU-TV) on its website www.swxrightnow.com and on its mobile device application Watch SWX, which is available at your app store.
Tri-City Water Follies event director Kathy Powell said they have also extended invitations to the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum’s vintage unlimited hydroplanes as well as the smaller classes of hydroplanes.
2018 H1 UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
June 22-24 • Southern Cup, Guntersville Lake • Guntersville, Alabama
July 6-8 • Midwest Tube Mills Indiana Governor’s Cup • Madison, Indiana
July 27-29 • HAPO Columbia Cup • Kennewick, Washington
August 3-5 • Albert Lee Cup • Seattle, Washington
August 24-26 • A.P.B.A. Gold Cup • Detroit, Michigan
September 14-16 • HomeStreet Bank Bill Muncey Cup • San Diego, California