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After rumors flew for several months, the Miss Madison Racing Team announced last week that Jimmy Shane, the 2013 H1 Unlimited Driver Champion, will be piloting the Oberto Unlimited hydroplane in 2014. Shane raced his first full season in the Unlimited series in 2012. He has quickly become the sport’s rising star with six race wins, including back-to-back U.I.M. World Championships.
“Being named the new Miss Madison driver is quite an honor and having the backing of such a great sponsor as Oberto makes the opportunity that much better,” Shane said. “The history of the Madison race team speaks for itself. There is also a uniqueness to the team being owned by the 13,000 plus citizens of the city of Madison. This brings on an extra role to being the driver as I not only have to represent the sponsor and team members, but also an entire town.
“My goals as the new Miss Madison driver include defending my Drivers title from 2013 and to bring the National Championship back to the city of Madison for the 2014 season. I know that Steve David left very big shoes to fill in all aspects of hydroplane racing and I will continue to do my best and leave my own mark in this wonderful sport. I would like to thank all the owners, sponsors and crew members for this great opportunity! Looking forward to a great future with a great team!”
Shane is employed as an Integration Engineer at Blue Origin, LLC in Kent. Wash. Jimmy and wife Bianca both come from boat racing families and reside in Renton, Wash., with their son Colton.
Crew chief exits Madison team
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation and Ellstrom Racing owner Erick Ellstrom announced last week that veteran crew chief Mike Hanson has joined the crew of the 96 Spirit of Qatar.
In making the announcement, Ellstrom said, “Mike Hanson’s experience and skill set fill a definite need on our team. As we are dialing in a brand new Spirit of Qatar for the upcoming season, Mike’s expertise with everything from hulls to hardware and systems will be invaluable.”
Ellstrom continued, “We obviously know Mike very well, having raced against him for many years and working alongside him and his team in the pit area. The addition is very popular with our entire team, as Mike is one of the most respected, best liked people in the sport and we are happy to be able to give him the opportunity to work closer to his home in Seattle.”
Hanson joined the Unlimited ranks, first as a driver, in 1986. He won the 1993 San Diego race driving for the Miss Madison Race team. Subbing for an injured Chip Hanauer, he won the 1994 Dallas race in Miss Budweiser. Hanson turned Jones Racing’s U-9 into a frontrunner in 2001 and won the Gold Cup on the Detroit River and San Diego Bayfair in 2002. He returned to the Madison team in 2004 as crew chief, where he teamed with driver Steve David to win 15 races and the Season High Point Championship four times from 2008 to 2012, giving him one of the best winning records of any crew chief in the history of the sport.
Hanson commented, “The decision to leave the Madison team was obviously a very difficult one. I have been fortunate to be associated with a bunch of the greatest people a guy could ask for, on the Madison team and in the Madison community. I hope they understand that the opportunity to spend more time closer to home in Seattle and work with a team the quality of Ellstrom Racing is a once in lifetime opportunity. We had great times and won a lot of races and championships together. I will always be very proud of everything we accomplished and wish the Madison team nothing but the best in the future.”
Mike and his wife Tonya live in Bonney Lake, Wash., southeast of Seattle. They have a son Trevor and a daughter Aubree.
Ellstrom Racing is in the process of completing a new state-of-the-art Spirit of Qatar Unlimited, which will debut at the season opener in Madison with a new driver yet to be named.