SAN DIEGO, CA — Sunday morning dawned on San Diego’s Mission Bay with major questions to be answered on the final day of racing in the 2013 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Season.
Could Jimmy Shane make it three wins in a row in the 5 Graham Trucking, following up his victories at Seattle in early August and Coeur d’Alene Labor Day Weekend? And would the 63 point lead in 2013 season standings that Steve David carried into the Sunday heats driving the 1 Oh Boy! Oberto still be there at the end of the day, giving the retiring veteran his seventh driver’s championship?
The day started well for David in the Oberto, racing Shane in Heat 2A and finishing first, adding 100 points to his high points lead. The two held serve the rest of the day. David won again in 3A and Shane took the checkers in 3B. With David’s lead at 163 points going into the final, he only needed a second place finish in the Final Heat to take the season championship. Kip Brown was the other Sunday prelim winner driving the 95 Spirit of Qatar.
The final heat provided more drama. Before the start, David moved from lane 2 to lane 1 in front of Shane, who got high in the air going through the Oberto roostertail. From that point, David led all five laps on the water. But a review of the start showed he had “jumped the gun,” crossing the line at the start too soon.
The one lap penalty moved David to the back of the field before penalties during tech inspection moved him up to fourth. Shane took the checkered flag as the winner of the 2013 San Diego Bayfair and the difference in points between first and fourth also gave him the 2013 driver and team championship.
Shane called the feeling unbelievable, saying, “This has just been an incredible experience driving for this team. I always know I can drive the boat as hard as I need to because they are going to have everything working right.”