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Shane shines as Diamond Cup champion | Hydros
The juggernaut that is Jimmy Shane in the U-5 Graham Trucking continued to roll – all the way to the top of the podium at the Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup on Sunday.
Shane, a 28-year-old new dad from Havre de Grace, Md., made it two wins in a row, following up his win at the Albert Lee Cup at Seattle Seafair in early August with a dramatic victory in the Diamond Cup Championship final as the unlimited hydroplanes returned to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho after an absence of 45 years.
Shane used the inside advantage – secured before the start – to hold off a challenge from Bonney Lake's J. Michael Kelly in the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing. After a review of the start, Kelly was ruled to have jumped the start clock. That set the Beacon driver back from second place to fifth and moved Steve David up to third in the Kent-affiliated U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto.
David, one of the pre-race favorites, found himself in an outside lane at the start and back a bit from Shane and Kelly and was only able to move up to second on the water before the call on Kelly moved him up the final ladder.
For Shane, who in the words of David, has become the "guy to beat in the unlimited ranks," it was a perfect weekend. First place in qualifying and four heat wins added 1,700 points for the weekend and pretty much erased David's lead in season high points.
On the awards stage, Shane said, "I just want to thank Ted Porter for letting me be a part of this great team. Rob Graham our sponsor was here and when we win for him it's always special, and the crew that gave me such a great race boat. We knew it would be rough on the big lake and the winner would be the last man standing. I go out and drive as hard as I can and sometimes it works out."
In a Sunday prelim, the Oberto lost a prop leaving the pit area and failed to score points, giving Shane an opportunity to make up most of the advantage David had before the Diamond Cup in 2013 season high points. David's 43 point lead Sunday night means the two are in a virtual tie.
"I think we are going to the final race of the season with the closest points race in history," David said.
On returning to Coeur d'Alene after the long hiatus, David added, "What a great place for us to race. The city and the people have been great and you could not ask for a more beautiful setting."
A strong weekend in the U-95 Spirit of Qatar for Kip Brown put him third as he also benefited from the call on Kelly. Tom Thompson was fourth in the U-11 Peters & May but recorded a fuel flow violation, moving rookie Jessie Robertson up to fourth in the U-57 FEDCO.
Next stop for the H1 Unlimited Series will be on San Diego's Mission Bay Sept. 13-15.
Final order of finish for the 2013 Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup -
Finish, boat, driver
1. U-5 Graham Trucking, Jimmy Shane
2. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David
3. U-95 Spirit of Qatar, Kip Brown
5. U-57 FEDCO, Mark Evans
6. U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, J. Michael Kelly
DNF, U-14 Miss DiJulio, Greg Hopp
DSQ, U-11 Peters & May, Tommy Thompson