ORYX Shane and Kelly ensure National High Points battle heads into final day of Oryx Cup
2014 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, Qatar
Doha Bay, Qatar – November 20-22, 2014
For immediate release
Friday, November 21st, 2014
SHANE AND KELLY ENSURE NATIONAL HIGH POINTS
BATTLE HEADS INTO FINAL DAY OF ORYX CUP IN DOHA
· Stunning return to race action for Theoret in 96 Spirit of Qatar
· Heat 1A victory to Kelly; Qatar’s Theoret shines brightly in 1B
· Shane wins heat 2B; Kelly steals the show in two-boat heat 2A
DOHA (Qatar): Jimmy Shane and J. Michael Kelly ensured that the battle for the National High Points title in the 2014 H1 Unlimited series will go down to the final day of the season after the first set of race heats at the Oryx Cup in Doha Bay on Friday.
J. Michael Kelly cruised to a comfortable victory in the first of the afternoon’s heats in 1 Graham Trucking. Start violations for both Shane and Jon Zimmerman meant that 96 Spirit of Qatar’s Jean Theoret cruised to a straightforward win in heat 1B – marking a superb return to the sport for the Canadian after a five-year absence.
Shane made up for the disappointment of starting his opening heat prematurely and led from the start of 2B to maintain his push for the National High Points title. Theoret was an impressive second and Phipps finished third.
Heat 2A was rescheduled to run after 2B following a fire onboard the 11 Peters & May boat of Tom Thompson. Kelly was never troubled by Zimmerman and recorded his second set of 400 maximum points to take the title challenge into the final two pairs of heats and the Oryx Cup on Saturday.
The performance of the day came from Qatar’s Theoret, however. The 96 Spirit of Qatar driver belied his five-year absence from the sport by winning one race heat and finishing second in the other. “I had a good feeling from the start and couldn‘t really of asked for a better day, a first and a second, 700 points and a good foundation to build on for tomorrow,” said Theoret.
The 12 Miss DiJulio crew received their turbine engine from Qatari customs on Friday morning and faced a race against time to prepare the boat for Jesse Robertson to use in the afternoon heats. He scored points for third in heat 1B.
J. Michael Kelly lined up alongside Dave Villwock, David Warren, Tom Thompson and Mike Webster in searing heat and a slight breeze for the first of the 2014 Oryx Cup heats. Predictably, after the form he has shown this season, Kelly stormed into the lead after a legal start and began to pull away from the chasing quartet.
There was no stopping the 1 Graham Trucking driver and he sailed through the chequered flag to win the opening heat. Villwock was a distant second and Webster, Thompson and Warren filled the minor placings in a processional and clean heat, although Webster stayed on Villwock’s rooster tail for a short time and then suffered the ignominy of being disqualified after the heat for a fuel violation.
On paper, heat 2B looked set to be a cracker with Shane, Jon Zimmerman, Cal Phipps and Jesse Robertson lining up on the inside of Theoret for the three-lap heat.
Shane crawled round the start straight on the inside line but he and Zimmerman were deemed to have jumped the start, despite the fact they held off a charging Theoret down the back straight. Shane began to edge away from the pair, but it didn’t matter because both he and the 9 Team Red Dot boat were going to have to run a penalty lap.
Theoret, therefore, cruised across the finish line to take a superb heat win for the Spirit of Qatar Team – his first since 2009 - and Phipps crossed in second place. Shane almost caught and lapped a struggling Robertson down the straight but missed out on third place by metres and Zimmerman was fifth. It meant that Kelly had already gained 231 points in the battle with Shane for the National High Points title.
Kelly managed to avoid Shane again in the draw for the second heats and lined up alongside Zimmerman and Warren. Robertson failed to make the start and Thompson also missed the heat, as an oil fire on the 11 boat forced a delay as it was removed from the course.
Warren was not able to fire up the 100 Sahara Pizza boat for the restart and Kelly was never troubled in a two-boat face-off with Zimmerman and duly collected his second haul of 400 points.
The final heat of the day again pitched Shane against Theoret, with Phipps, Villwock and Webster adding spice to the cocktail. Each of the boats made a clean start and Shane used the inside line to his advantage to pull clear of Theoret and Phipps, with Villwock slowing and eventually retiring after his engine appeared to ingest water. This handed fourth place to Webster.
Tomorrow (Saturday), teams will compete in the third and fourth pairs of race heats from 11.00hrs and the six that amass the most points from the heats and qualifying will go through to the 2014 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final from 15.00hrs on Doha Bay.
Oryx Cup - UIM World Championship – H1 Unlimited Heats (Friday – unofficial @ 16.30hrs)
1. 1 J. Michael Kelly Graham Trucking 400 points
2. 21 Dave Villwock Miss Seattle 300 points
3. 11 Tom Thompson Peters & May 225 points
4. 100 David Warren Sahara Pizza 169 points
5. 22 Mike Webster Webster Racing DSQ
1. 96 Jean Theoret Spirit of Qatar 400 points
2. 7 Cal Phipps Graham Trucking II 300 points
3. 12 Jesse Robertson Miss DiJulio 225 points
4. 9 Jon Zimmerman Team Red Dot/Les Schwab Tires 169 points
5. 6 Jimmy Shane Oberto Beef Jerky 127 points
1. 1 J. Michael Kelly Graham Trucking 400 points
2. 9 Jon Zimmerman Team Red Dot/Les Schwab Tires 300 points
100 David Warren Sahara Pizza DNS
11 Tom Thompson Peters & May DNS
12 Jesse Robertson Miss DiJulio DNS
1. 6 Jimmy Shane Oberto Beef Jerky 400 points
2. 96 Jean Theoret Spirit of Qatar 300 points
3. 7 Cal Phipps Graham Trucking II 225 points
4. 22 Mike Webster Webster Racing 169 points
21 Dave Villwock Miss Seattle DNF
2014 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship - timetable of events
Saturday, November 22
08.00-09.00 Unlimited testing
11.00 Heat 3A
11.20 Heat 3B
12.45 Heat 4A
13.05 Heat 4B
15.00 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship
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