At the end of a long hot day of racing Sunday, the six-boat H1 Unlimited final field took to the Bill Muncey racecourse on San Diego’s Mission Bay. Three of the top four qualifiers were in the field—the missing boat from the top four was Jones Racing’s Team RedDOT/Les Schwab Tires, which was on the trailer with damage suffered in a violent spin on Saturday.
Jimmy Shane (left) and J. Michael Kelly battled it out on Mission Bay in San Diego on Sunday. Photo by Chris Denslow/H1 Unlimited
Top qualifier Jimmy Shane in the Oh Boy! Oberto boat had won two prelims, losing one to J. Michael Kelly in the Graham Trucking boat. Kip Brown was also a Saturday winner in the Spirit of Qatar boat and Cal Phipps won a Saturday preliminary heat in the Graham Trucking II boat. Those four were joined in the final by Tom Thompson in the Peters & May hydroplane and Mike Webster in the Big 5 Sporting Goods boat. The Spirit of Qatar failed to start for Brown.
Kelly grabbed the inside lane and the early lead, and raced deck to deck with Shane throughout the five-lap final. After five laps, Shane crossed the finish line first but was told to run an extra lap while the officials reviewed the heat. Drivers and fans finally got the word more than a half hour later that Shane would be penalized a lap for bearing out on Kelly entering turn one at the start of the fourth lap.
The penalty dropped Shane to fourth place and made Kelly the Bayfair champion. Kelly’s teammate Phipps was second, while Webster finished third and earned a spot on the podium. Thompson was fifth. Kelly Stocklin replaced Brown and finished sixth in his Bucket List Racing boat.
The H1 Unlimited fleet will set sail for the Middle East and the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship (Nov. 20–22) in Doha, Qatar, which serves as the final event on the 2014 racing calendar.
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