H1 96 Spirit of Qatar's Brown finishes third at 59th HAPO Colombia Cup
2014 H1 Unlimited World Championship, round three
59th HAPO Colombia Cup, Tr-Cities – July 25-27, 2014
For immediate release
Monday, July 28th, 2014
96 SPIRIT OF QATAR’S BROWN FINISHES
IN A FINE THIRD AT HAPO COLOMBIA CUP
· 59th HAPO Colombia Cup victory for Jimmy Shane in 6 Oberto; Villwock returns to action
· Stunning new 96 Spirit of Qatar takes to the water for the first time on the Colombia River
TRI-CITIES (USA): Kip Brown gave Ellstrom Racing’s new 96 Spirit of Qatar its H1 Unlimited race debut at the HAPO Colombia Cup, round three of the 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship, on the Colombia River at the weekend and finished third in the final.
Victory in the 59th HAPO Colombia Cup fell to Jimmy Shane in a slightly damaged 6 Oberto and Jon Zimmerman took second place with 9 Les Schwab-Team Red Dot.
Brown was forced to miss the opening two races of the series in Madison and Detroit, while the new Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed project was completed. In the meantime, the QMSF – running under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani - threw its support behind Jon Zimmerman and the Team Red Dot/95 Spirit of Qatar entry, before Brown returned to action for the Qatar Team in Tri-Cities.
A bumper entry of 12 boats headed for the start, led by National High Points leader Jimmy Shane in 6 Oberto and J. Michael Kelly in 1 Graham Trucking. The HAPO Colombia Cup also saw the return to racing of H1 legend and former Spirit of Qatar Team driver Dave Villwock at the helm of 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing.
Shane qualified at the top of the leader board with a speed of 163.247mph on Friday and Zimmerman slotted into third behind Kelly after the Team Red Dot driver had seen a quicker time erased for an N2 violation. Brown carded a time of 142.517mph and qualified in 10th position. “I love the boat, it’s really easy to drive,” said the 96 Spirit of Qatar man. “We need to do some tweaking on the set-up and the speed will come, but it handles beautifully.”
Shane, Kelly, Villwock, Jamie Nilsen, Tom Thompson and Kelly Stocklin lined up in heat 1A, but Stocklin was the only driver to make a clean start and Kelly and Shane were forced to lap the rookie to have any chance of taking the heat win after a penalty was imposed. The heat developed into a frantic tussle between Kelly and Shane and Kelly duly took the win from Shane and Villwock.
Zimmerman was the fastest qualifier for heat 1B, but there was disappointment for the Spirit of Qatar team when the new 96 boat failed to start. Zimmerman duly led from start-to-finish to claim the heat win and Mike Webster headed Cal Phipps for second place.
Kelly jumped the gun in heat 2A and the crew discovered structural damage on the boat and he was withdrawn for the rest of the weekend, as Shane headed Brown to the chequered flag and Nilsen came in third.
Heat 2B had to be rerun after an incident involving Jeff Bernard in 17 Our Gang Racing at the first turn of lap two. Villwock led both Bernard and Zimmerman into the turn, but Bernard’s boat headed through Zimmerman’s rooster tail, gained lift and nosed violently into the water, damaging the hull but not injuring Bernard. Villwock was deemed to have made a legal turn and duly claimed the heat win in the rerun from Phipps and Webster.
Shane and Villwock appeared to have wrecked their chances of taking the Colombia Cup title in heat 3B. Villwock brushed a buoy at turn two and his boat veered right and struck Shane in the Oberto. Both boats coasted to a stop and were towed to the pits, with Shane’s crew somehow able to patch up his boat for the final. Zimmerman went on to claim the 400 points from Thompson. Phipps had earlier won heat 3A from Brown.
Shane managed to coax his damaged boat to the finish to secure victory in the Colombia Cup final after a hole had appeared on the left sponson. Zimmerman followed up two heat wins to take second in 9 Les Schwab-Team Red Dot and third on the water went to Cal Phipps in 7 Graham Trucking before he was handed a one lap penalty and this handed third and the final podium place to Brown in the new 96 Spirit of Qatar. Tom Thompson finished fifth.
The fourth round of the series will be the Albert Lee Cup at Seattle Seafair in Washington State on August 1-3.
H1 Unlimited – National High Points after round 3 (unofficial):
1. 6 Oberto/Miss Madison Jimmy Shane 4769 pts
2. 7 Graham Trucking Cal Phipps 3654 pts
3. 1 Graham Trucking J. Michael Kelly 3626 pts
4. 21 Go Fast Turn Left Racing Brian Perkins/Jamie Nilsen 3232 pts
5. 95 Red Dot/Spirit of Qatar Jon Zimmerman 2807 pts
6. 22 Webster Racing Mike Webster 1622 pts
7. 11 Peters & May Tom Thompson 1455 pts
8. 96 Spirit of Qatar Kip Brown 855 pts
9. 37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Dave Villwock 675 pts
10. 18 Bucket List Racing Kelly Stocklin 433 pts
11. 12 Miss DiJulio Greg Hopp 412 pts
12. 17 Our Gang Racing Jeff Bernard 209 pts
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