Jimmy Shane, the weekend’s top qualifier, led his U-5 Graham Trucking boat to a narrow victory over Tommy Thompson and his U-11 Peters and May in Heat 1A Saturday at the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane races on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
With the win, the 28-year-old Shane has accumulated the highest points total among all drivers heading into today’s two heat races and final round.
The top six teams in points will earn a spot in the final to be run at 4 p.m. just off Silver Beach.
Defending series champion Steve David and the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto took the win in Heat 1B despite a strong effort from J. Michael Kelly and the U-37 Beacon Plumbing. David brings the second-highest points total into today with Kelly, Thompson, Kip Brown and the U-95 Spirit of Qatar and Mark Evans in the U-57 rounding out the top six in overall points.
In Heat 1A, Shane and Thompson were the first two boats onto the course once released from the pit area at the 5-minute gun to the start of the race. Shane jumped into the preferred inside lane with Thompson settled into lane two. Mark Evans and the U-57 FEDCO were the last boat on the course but managed to catch the field and nestled into lane three as the race got underway.
Thompson grabbed a brief lead heading into turn No. 1 as Shane powered out of the corner and into the backstretch and overtook Thompson heading into turn No. 3.
Halfway through the three-lap race, Shane, Thompson and Evans settled into a smooth run with Greg Hopp and Dave Warren trailing in fourth and fifth place, respectively. As the final lap got underway Thompson found some speed in his boat and closed the gap on Shane but was unable to overtake the eventual race winner.
“It was a great heat between us and Thompson,” Shane said. “Those guys are definitely catching up on us.”
In Heat 1B, Kelly grabbed lane one over David to start the race and led the field into turn No. 1. David used the horsepower in the boat to pull alongside Kelly and take the lead as the pair headed toward turn No. 3. From there, David and Kelly put considerable distance between themselves and third-place running Brown to finish 1-2-3 at the checkers with Mike Webster running fourth.
Racing continues today with Heat 2A at 11 a.m., Heat 2B scheduled for 11:30, Heat 3A set for 1 p.m. and Heat 3B taking the green at 1:30. The Grand Prix West finale is will run at 3:30. The 2013 Diamond Cup final will start at 4.