Finish of San Diego race in dispute, under review

-A A +A

Unlimited hydroplanes

In a controversial finish that took well over an hour of tech inspection to become final, Jimmy Shane was declared the winner of the Championship Final Heat of the San Diego Bayfair on Mission Bay, the final United States stop on the 2012 Air National Guard H1 Unlimited tour.

Shane drove the U-5 Graham Trucking to a second place finish behind Steve David in the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison but H1 officials disqualified David after determining there had been a flagrant fuel violation by the apparent winner

The Oberto team then filed a protest and Chief Referee Mike Noonan said that all of the equipment involved in the decision will undergo testing to verify the findings and the result.

“We win, we don’t, they appeal, we’re disqualified, we appeal and now the fuel flow equipment will go to an independent lap for testing,” David said in a Facebook post to fans late Sunday. “My crew chief and team management believes our win will be reinstated when the equipment is tested. Until then, we’ll have to await the outcome, all if which, both for and against us are fair rules that apply to everyone.”

At issue is H1 Unlimited’s fuel flow monitor on the low pressure side, David explained. “Our N2 was fine, under 110 percent, and our high fuel flow appears okay. The only real disappointment is for my phenomenal crew and our great fans. Yes, there a few weenie owners in our sport, but on the balance we’ve got great volunteers, great fans and friendships that transcend racing.”

Pending the review, the disqualification of David moved Dave Villwock in the U-1 Spirit of Qatar into second place and Jon Zimmerman, driving Jones Racing’s U-9 up into third.

Events early Sunday also had a major effect on the race to the final heat as well as the Air National Guard Series High Points for the 2012 season.

Before the Sunday preliminaries, Schumacher Racing announced that the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing was withdrawing from further competition at the event, citing a problem keeping salt water out of the boat.

Then, in Heat 2B, favorite Villwock was leading Shane when he lost the hot section of the turbine engine and slowed to a stop, scoring no points. Shane went on to take the victory.

Earlier, points leader David in the Oberto scored a victory in Heat 2A, adding 400 points to his lead over Villwock in the ANG Series High Point chase.

In 3A Shane added another checkered flag followed by who ran a strong race in second place.

David and Villwock were both drawn into Heat 3B, setting up the first confrontation between the point leaders all weekend. The four boats drawn into 3B took to Mission Bay and David put the Oberto in lane one.  Villwock timed the start better in lane two and took the lead into turn one.  David settled back into second place, securing a spot in the final, and Villwock built the lead before completing the three-lap prelim.

That set up a rematch in the race for the Bayfair championship. Shane put the Graham Trucking in lane one and challenged David throughout the five-lap final, with Villwock running third outside the leaders.

David had increased his high points lead over Villwock with the apparent victory, but saw much of that lead disappear with the disqualification and the loss of 400 points.

The Air National Guard Series race teams will prepare for a trip to the Middle East and the final event of the 2012 season in Doha, Qatar in January.