Fantasy Unlimited Hydroplane Racing

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D2D Pre-Season Boat Rankings – 3 through 6

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HydroDan's Deck2Deck Racing Inc.

6: U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing Driver: J. Michael Kelly – Puyallup, WA

Billy and Jane Schumacher re-enter the fray in 2012 with established hot shoe J. Michael Kelly at the wheel for the sophomore season of the drop-sponson Ron Jones Jr. hull (1188). In a surprise twist of fate this off season, Beacon Plumbing reunited forces with the Schumachers after a fairly major falling out just a few years ago. The Seattle plumbing outfit fills the void left when Degree For Men shifted their backing to the USA Racing Partners Camp for 2012. The U-37, as U-88 Degree for Men last season, spent much of the year sorting out a case of the expected new-boatitis. The new hull did, however, display many admirable efforts including two dandy Deck2Deck duels with the U-7 during last year’s running for the Gold Cup. Look for continued improvement from the U-37 Beacon Plumbing in 2012.

5: U-5 Graham Trucking Driver: Jimmy Shane – Havre de Grace, MD

After an uncertain offseason in which the Precision Performance Engineering Team appeared to close its doors for good, Ted Porter has opted to return to the hydro wars to the delight of hydroplane fans from Decatur to Dubai. The team will focus its efforts on the T-6 hull (0001) that ran last season as the U-7 and prepare the former U-5 Graham Trucking Hull (9712) as a back-up/display boat. Jimmy Shane, PPE’s backup driver for five seasons, replaces Jeff Bernard as the chauffeur of the “new” Graham Trucking effort. If Jimmy Shane continues to build on his solid 4th place finish at last year’s season finale in Doha, the U-5 has the potential to be this season’s pivotal fantasy play. Do not count out this former Budweiser Beer Wagon. Look for the refocused PPE Team and young-gun driver to show well in 2012.

4: U-88 Degree for Men Driver: Scott Liddycoat – Suffolk, VA

After three long seasons in dry dock, the Gregory Family’s former Budweiser T-3 is back in 2012 running under the banner of Degree for Men. The popular return of USA Racing Partners adds additional intrigue to the season as the very capable ex-Bud hull will only heighten the fierce competition observed in 2011. In the saddle of the 88 (9512) is the 2011 rookie of the year Scott Liddycoat. Liddycoat proved to be a formidable unlimited chauffeur in the U-7 (Former Bud T-6) last season, capturing a UIM World Championship in Doha and finishing 4th in National High Points with 4 podium finishes in 6 races. The Degree Team completed a successful test session in Tr-Cities in May and looks to be equipped to run near the front of the pack when the flag drops on the 2012 season.

3: U-17 Miss Red Dot / Our Gang Racing Driver: Kip Brown – Preston, WA

The U-17 Red Dot (0717), led by veteran racer and Team Manager Nate Brown, showed vast improvement in 2011 with three podium finishes. The progression of the team can likely be attributed to the team’s continued efforts to build up spare parts and resources as well as the maturation of driver Kip Brown. Kip showed great improvement and surging confidence after garnering two heat wins at the initial race of the season in Madison. Look for the Our Gang Racing Team to build on their successful efforts in 2011 as the team implemented several hull modifications that should improve boat performance including reconfiguring the low-profile “flying nun” air scoop to a more conventional “Bud-style” cowling. The team also completed a successful preseason test session and should be one step ahead of most when the flag drops in Madison.

Posted on: Jul 03 2012 03:10 PM UTC Edited on: Jul 03 2012 03:11 PM UTC
u37 Beacon fan

Can’t wait for the 2012 season to start. Looks like were all going to see some great deck 2 deck racing this year. I look for 6 or 7 boats to be within a couple mph of eachother.

Posted on: Jul 03 2012 09:25 PM UTC
Handsome Transom Motorsports

I agree. Although the 1 and the 6 should dominate this year, the other teams’ off-season changes (drivers, sponsors, overhauled boats) makes this year look really exciting. New start procedure… who knows what will happen? We’re ready to go racing D2D!

Posted on: Jul 04 2012 01:12 PM UTC
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