Detroit guaranteed new Gold Cup winner
For 2nd straight year Gold Cup field includes no prior champions
Friday, July 11, 2014 11:00 AM
Kip Brown got his chance at racing immortality last year when he claimed his first APBA Gold Cup. Now another driver will get a chance to find out what it feels like to hoist the oldest trophy in motorsports.
The Graham Trucking and J. Michael Kelly (below left) and Oberto/Miss Madison and Jimmy Shane race deck-to-deck to the exit buoy of turn four just before the start of Sunday’s Indiana Governor’s Cup at Madison. Shane (above) had the inside lane, the faster boat and was working on a perfect weekend until he jumped the gun in the final with Kelly going on to win and Shane placing fourth. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
With defending champ Brown on sidelines, Shane, Kelly look like Gold Cup front-runners
Gold Cup Schedule
APBA GOLD CUP
Detroit River, Detroit, Mich.
WEEKEND UNLIMITED SCHEDULE
(All Times EDT)
Friday, July 11
Noon- 4 p.m. - Testing
5-7 p.m. - Qualifying
Saturday, July 12
9-10:30 a.m. - Testing
1:40 p.m. - Heat 1A
2 p.m. - Heat 1B
4:40 p.m. - Heat 2A
5 p.m. - Heat 2B
Sunday July 13
8-9 a.m. - Testing
11 a.m. - Heat 3A
11:40 a.m. - Heat 3B
2:10 p.m. - Heat 4A
2:30 p.m. - Heat 4B
4:30 p.m. - Detroit APBA Gold Cup Final Heat
For the second-straight season there is guaranteed to be a new Gold Cup winner when the race concludes on Sunday in Detroit. None of the eight drivers who are expected to compete have won the race and only two teams have ended up in the winner's circle.
Miss Madison Racing won the Gold Cup way back in 1971 when Jim McCormick pulled off the stunning feat on the team's home course that inspired a movie. Jones Racing, which will be campaigning as the Spirit of Qatar this weekend, got its Cup in 2001 with Mike Hanson at the wheel.
Who will pick up the Cup this year? If last weekend's season opener at Madison is any indication, it may be hard to find a true favorite but the smart money is on Jimmy Shane.
The 28-year-old Shane was flat dominate for three-fourths of Sunday's race aboard the Oberto/Miss Madison, his first race with the team. He was the fastest qualifier, set a speed in testing that was 7 mph faster than his nearest competitor and he won all three of his preliminary heats in easy fashion.
But Shane didn't win the race. He was penalized one lap at the start of the final heat for jumping the gun and ended up placing fourth. The penalty opened the door for J. Michael Kelly to pick up his second-career win.
"You look at the overall points for this weekend, we're looking good," Shane said. "The boat was out in front for the entire final, we had the strongest boat out there. Next time I'll just have to give myself more leeway at the start."
Kelly, in his first race back with Graham Trucking, scored the win while teammate Cal Phipps was third in the Graham Trucking II despite a rough weekend. In between, Jon Zimmerman placed second in the Red Dot/Spirit of Qatar.
Those three drivers are expected to be Shane's top contenders this weekend. Zimmerman finished second to Brown at last year's Gold Cup while Kelly has three career third-place finishes, in 2007, 2010 and 2012. The only other current drivers to appear on the podium are Greg Hopp, who was second in 2001, and Tom Thompson ,who placed third last year.
Thompson was in line for a strong race at Madison with a pair of second-place finishes but he was forced to shut down his Peters & May in Heat 3A after sensing a vibration. The team did not make the final heat.
Hopp's Miss DiJulio did not reach the Madison pits until late Saturday but still made it on the water for two heats. In the first, Hopp was black-flagged off the course after his canopy came open. He placed third in the other heat.
The rough-luck award of the race went to the GoFastTurnLeft Racing team which sat second in points after the preliminary heats. But the boat cracked its right sponson after a big hop in Heat 3A and the team withdrew from the final heat but will be ready for the Gold Cup.
The GoFastTurnLeft team has two drivers sharing duties in the cockpit this season. Jamie Nilsen drove at Madison and picked up his first career heat win. Brian Perkins will steer the craft at Detroit.
The final boat in the field will be the Webster Racing team of Reading, Pa. which did not complete an official lap at Madison after blowing up an engine in testing. The team is hopeful that it will be able to compete this weekend.
Gold Cup rules dictate that four preliminary heats must be run and as a result, the race will be contested over two days. Testing will be this afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. with qualifying from 5-7 p.m.
A testing session from 9-10:30 a.m. begins Saturday's schedule with the first set of heats starting at 1:40 p.m. and second set at 4:40 p.m. Heats 3A and 3B will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, the fourth set of heats will be at 2:10 p.m. and the final will begin at 4:30 p.m.
H1 Unlimited Gold Cup Boat Roster
Driver, Boat, Owner
J. Michael Kelly, 1 Graham Trucking, Ted Porter
Jimmy Shane, 6 Oberto/Miss Madison, City of Madison
Cal Phipps, 7 Graham Trucking, Ted Porter
Jon Zimmerman, 9 Spirit of Qatar 96, Mike & Lori Jones
Tom Thompson, 11 Peters & May, Scott & Shannon Raney
Greg Hopp, 12 Miss DiJulio, Jay Leckrone & Denise Garl
Jamie Nilsen, 21 GoFastTurnLeft Racing, Greg & Brian O'Farrell
Mike Webster, 22 Webster Racing, Steve & Sue Webster
2014 H1 UNLIMITED Season Points
(Through 1 of 6 races)
Boat, Driver, Pts., Back
1. Jimmy Shane, 6 Oberto/Miss Madison, 1,469, -
2. J. Michael Kelly, 1 Graham Trucking, 1,280, -189
3. Jon Zimmerman, 9 Spirit of Qatar, 1,205, -264
4. Cal Phipps, 7 Graham Trucking, 1,015, -454
5. Jamie Nilsen, 21 GoFastTurnLeft Racing, 975, -494
6. Tom Thompson, 11 Peters & May, 660, -809
7. Greg Hopp, 12 Miss DiJulio, 225, -1,244
8. Mike Webster, 22 Webster Racing, 0, -1,469