Following in the footsteps of his famed Unlimited hydroplane father, Mark Tate, 29-year-old Michigan-based driver Andrew Tate of the U-9 Delta/Realtrac claimed victory yesterday in the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series Gold Cup event, which has been run 102 times, in Detroit. The win on the Detroit River was Tate’s fourth of the 2018 H1 season.
Yesterday’s Gold Cup win was Tate’s fourth victory of the year.
Tate powered in front of Jimmy Shane in the U-1 Miss HomeStreet at the start of the race, and never lost the lead. He finished the five-lap final on the 2.72-mile racecourse with an average speed 155.460 mph, nearly 2 mph faster than Shane.
Tate etched himself in the record book not only for winning the Gold Cup, but by becoming the younger member of the only son/father duo to win the coveted event. His father claimed the Gold Cup—the oldest trophy in motorsports—in 1994 and 1991.
By winning the race, Tate also clinched the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series National High Points Championship and will be awarded the U-1 number in 2019.
“I don’t have the words,” said Tate, a fourth-generation boat racer. “I can’t describe it, I haven’t had time for it all to sink in.”
As for the final race itself, Tate, who was second to Shane after the first five laps, couldn’t have scripted it better.
“The inside lane is always an advantage, and we had a good start,” he said. “The buffer between me (U-11 in lane two) and Jimmy helped.
“We changed one thing for the final, and it seemed to work. Kudos to the crew,” he added. “They gave me a rocket-ship.”
All eight preliminary heat races were run Sunday after half were postponed Saturday by high winds.
Shane who finished second in the winner-take-all final won all four preliminary heats his team entered. He finished the Gold Cup final with an average speed of 148.864 mph.
“We should have come away with the Gold Cup win,” he said. “Unfortunately for us, it didn’t work out. Andrew won, and congratulations to them.”
Tate (click image to enlarge) credited his crew, “They gave me a rocket-ship,” he said.
Third place went to the U-11 Reliable Diamond Tool presents J&D’s, driven by Tom Thompson with an average speed 113.325 mph. Thompson was penalized one minute for a line violation, but it did not affect the order of finished.
Fourth place went to Dustin Echols driving the U-440 Bucket List Racing with an average speed of 84.710 mph.
The U-7 Spirit of Detroit and driver Bert Henderson were disqualified when he entered the restricted area of the racecourse.
The fastest lap in the final went to Tate who posted a speed of 154.601 mph on lap two of the final.
Editor’s Note: Owen Blauman handles media relations for the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series.