Jimmy Shane and the Oberto Beef Jerky team ended the season on a high note yesterday, winning both San Diego Bayfair and the National High Points championship for the second consecutive year in the Southern California event.
For the second year in a row, Jimmy Shane took top honors and claimed the H1 Unlimited national championship in San Diego. Photo courtesy/copyright Robert Peters.
Shane sent his team’s longtime sponsor Oberto Beef Jerky off with a final win by sweeping all of the preliminary heats en route to the championship on Mission Bay.
“This was quite a day for everyone involved,” said Shane after the race. “I do not know if anyone could have written a better script.”
Nearly 80,000 people turned out to San Diego Bayfair over the three days to watch more than 80 boats compete on Mission Bay. The race is staged entirely by volunteers and is one of the city’s largest outdoor family festival and sporting events.
“We want to thank the entire community and especially the San Diego Tourism Marketing District for its support for staging another successful event,” said Bob Davies, race director for San Diego Bayfair. “It was a great weekend and we can’t wait to return in 2016.”
Driver Greg Hopp won the Grand Prix West competition, which are smaller, piston-powered versions of the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes.
It was a perfect weekend for Shane. He won all three preliminary heats and then the championship final, averaging 146.448 mph to take his 10th career win. During a 16-year sponsorship run, the Oberto/Madison, Ind. team have won 20 races, including two Gold Cup titles, six H1 Unlimited Hydroplane National High Points boat championships and eight drivers titles.
In the final, Shane was in lane 2, Jimmy King in the HomestreetBank had lane one, and Scott Liddycoat in the Southern California 811 Dig/ Red Dot had lane four. Shane and Liddycoat ran close for the first lap but after that the Oberto boat took control. Liddycoat took second with Cal Phipps in the Dalton Industries in third. J. Michael Kelly placed fourth in the Graham Trucking but only after going through the roostertail of Liddycoat on lap three.
“I didn’t want to make any mistakes, and I knew I had almost everyone on the outside of me, so I stayed back and hit the starting line a little late then let the boat go,” Shane said. “This boat ran extremely well all weekend and I have to give our crew, crew chief Larry Hanson, the Oberto family and the city of Madison, Indiana thanks for allowing me the privilege to drive this boat.”
Earlier in the day, Shane clinched his second consecutive H1 National High Points Driver and Team Championship when he won preliminary heat 2B and his closest challenger Kelly placed second. Liddycoat started the day with his first heat win in the 811 Dig/Red Dot boat then took second in his next preliminary and the final. It was the team’s best finish of the year.