Jimmy Shane clocks fastest Gold Cup qualifying speed
Detroit — Two-time defending Gold Cup champion Jimmy Shane clocked in with the fastest qualifying speed during runs on the Detroit River on Friday afternoon.
Shane clocked in with a two-lap average of 159.906 mph. His best lap out of the three was 160.822. The qualifying time takes the average of the top two.
“The water was perfect just minutes before we were able to take the boat out,” Shane said. “Then the wind seemed to pick up and I think that cost us a chance at the 160 average.
Driving the U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank boat, Shane will have pretty good company during Saturday’s heats, ahead of Sunday’s Gold Cup final.
“This is exactly what the sport needs,” Shane said. “There are six boats bunched very close and this is going to make this weekend’s racing very exciting.”
Andrew Tate, a rookie driving the U-9 Delta Realtrac boat, also qualified, with an average of 157.912 mph and a best lap of 158.667.
He qualified second, ahead of J. Michael Kelly in the U-5 Graham Trucking boat by just 0.3 mph. Kelly averaged 157.912.
Corey Peabody, driver of the U-57 Spirit of Detroit, received a Commissioner’s option into Saturday and Sunday racing.
Qualifying, Saturday’s heats and Sunday’s finals take place on the 2.7-mile course on the Detroit River.
Here are Saturday’s heat draws:
• Race 1A: Tom Thompson, J. Michael Kelly, Kevin Eacret, Jimmy Shane
• Race 1B: Jeff Bernard, Brian Perkins, Andrew Tate, Corey Peabody