H1 96 Spirit of Qatar's Brown misses out on San Digo Bayfair final but takes heat win
2014 H1 Unlimited World Championship, round five
San Diego Bayfair, Mission Bay, California – September 12-14, 2014
For immediate release
Monday, September 15th, 2014
96 SPIRIT OF QATAR’S KIP BROWN MISSES OUT ON SAN
DIEGO FINAL BUT TAKES HEAT WIN AND QUALIFIES SECOND
· J. Michael Kelly wins San Diego Bayfair after official review penalises Jimmy Shane
SAN DIEGO (USA): After a minor technical issue, 96 Spirit of Qatar’s Kip Brown was not able to start the final of the San Diego Bayfair, round five of the 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship, held in Mission Bay, California, on Sunday. But the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF)-backed driver heads to Doha Bay in November in upbeat mood after qualifying in second place on Friday and winning heat 1A on Saturday.
J. Michael Kelly was deemed the winner of Sunday’s final after an official review by race officials. Pre-race favourite Jimmy Shane lined up alongside Kelly, Brown, Cal Phipps, Mike Webster and Tom Thompson and Kelly grabbed the inside lane and the early lead after Brown had not been to start 96 Spirit of Qatar.
Kelly raced neck and neck with Shane through the five-lap final. Shane crossed the finish line first, but was told to run an extra lap while officials reviewed the heat and he was later told that he had been penalised for bearing down on Kelly entering turn one at the start of the fourth lap. This dropped Shane to fourth, handed Kelly the Bayfair title and lifted Phipps to second and Webster to third.
Shane’s 6 Oberto/Miss Madison claimed the 100 points for topping the qualifying times on Friday with a speed of 162.557mph, but Brown was in superb form with 96 Spirit of Qatar and topped the 160mph barrier on one run that was nullified after an N2 fuel violation. Brown went on to set a legal 159.679mph run in rough conditions on the Bill Muncey Race Course and settled into second position, the QMSF-backed driver netting 80 points in the process.
“We only took enough fuel for two laps to see what the boat could do with a light load and that was it,” said a delighted Brown. Jon Zimmerman clocked third place in 95 Red Dot/Les Schwab Tires.
Zimmerman led the field into the first turn in Heat 1A, but the boat spun violently, forced the stoppage of the heat and put the American out of the running for the rest of the weekend. Brown took the inside after the restart and controlled the heat to take maximum points. Cal Phipps was second and Scott Liddycoat was third. “We made a fairly easy start. I didn’t want to get over the line too soon,” said Brown. “By the time we left turn one we were clear of the field and just went for a boat ride. I love driving this boat.”
Shane won the battle for the inside line to seal heat 1B over J. Michael Kelly. Tom Thompson finished third, but Schumacher Racing’s 21 Miss Beacon Plumbing – which had incurred a technical violation and been disqualified on Saturday - filed an appeal and chose not to run on Sunday.
Kelly took a tense heat 2A win from Shane on Sunday afternoon, but heat 2B was a disappointing one for Brown in 96 Spirit of Qatar. Despite avoiding Kelly and Shane in the heat draw, Brown got caught in a rooster tail as the field approached the start line and the 96 was washed down and lost power. Phipps went on to take the win, but was deemed to have encroached on Brown by race officials and his penalty handed the heat to Webster.
Phipps led from start-to-finish to take the glory in heat 3A and there was a fascinating scrap for honours in 3B. Shane managed to hold off Kelly to take the win, with Brown third and Webster fourth.
Qatar’s Oryx Cup is the final round of the 2014 H1 Unlimited Championship and will take place in Doha Bay on November 20-22. It is being organised by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF).
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