H1 Unlimited season comes to a spectacular close in San Diego

With the last race over, and the dust settled on the H1 Unlimited 2016 season, the Peters & May racing team has put together a round up on the final race in San Diego that bumped the gbr11 Peters & May Team into fourth place!

The final race of the 2016 season took place along the shores of Mission Bay in San Diego, California on a 2 ½ mile salt water oval race course. Mission Bay presents a unique challenge, not only are we racing our fellow competitors on the water, at this event we are also faced with the difficult task of keeping the engine salt free.  The ingestion of the salt spray in the air can be devastating, coating the blades of the Peters & May Lycoming turbine engine causing the engine to overheat and stall.

The weekend started with the Peters & May team testing on Friday morning. The boat saw speeds of over 150.9 miles per hour average speed, with Peters & May crew chief Scott Raney commenting “We were very pleased with our first run. It established a nice baseline of information and we learned that our speeds were significantly improved from last year at this race.”

Winds picked up later in the day and the water conditions changed slightly for qualifying later that afternoon. The 3 lap qualifying speeds were: 147.437, 147.210 and 147.926. When the boat came back to the dock the team started investigating the issue since the qualifying speeds were so much slower than testing earlier that morning. It was discovered after another test session that a shaft seal had failed and filled the boat with approximately 1000 pounds of water.  Carrying this extra weight had been slowing the boat down. The problem was fixed and the team was ready for heat racing on Saturday afternoon.

Heat 1A saw the Peters & May team finish fourth in the heat after jumping the start. The team was disappointed with the result but were determined to come out strong in the next two heats in order to make the front row of the final heat.

We came out strong in heat 2A, with a second place finish. Driver Tom Thompson drove a great race and brought the boat back to the dock with little salt ingestion which set the team up for the 3rd heat of the day. 
Heat 3B was the best race of the entire weekend for the large crowd of fans on the beach.  Peters & May driver Tom Thompson and All Access Rentals driver Brian Perkins drove three laps deck to deck and the finish was decided by the tip of a sponson with the All Access team beating the Peters & May team in a photo finish style result. With speeds nearing 200 mph, the boats at times were only inches apart. The 70 guests of Peters & May that attended over the weekend were treated to a great show in the corporate VIP chalet. Lots of cheering and excitement filled the entire area and stretched along the shoreline. 

The team had accrued enough points over the course of the weekend to make the front row of the final heat. Salt ingestion had not been an issue for the team and Tom and the hard working Peters & May crew were ready for the final heat. In the 5 minute milling period before the start of the race the boat took on a large amount of salt water from the roostertail of another boat.  Tom continued to manoeuvre the gbr11 boat and made a nice start only to be washed down again in the first corner when a steering part failed on the 21 boat. In spite of ingesting huge amounts of salt, Tom was able to nurse the Peters & May boat around the race course and finished a strong 4th place in the final. 

The team finished 5th in points for the year, holding off the 6th place team by just 8 points, with 4172 total points for the season. We have made great improvements in 2016, moving up 4 places in the national standings and also seeing developments in the programme. It is always difficult to see one season end, but work has already begun in preparation for the 2017 season and the gbr11 team is very determined to continue to improve.

Peters & May Group CEO, David Holley, commented: “H1 Unlimited racing is truly one of the most exciting sports on earth, and I’d like to send my heartfelt congratulations to U-1 Miss HomeStreet Bank on an excellent win! Supporting power boat racing from grass roots to the elite level of H1 is hugely important to Peters & May, and we’re incredibly proud of the gbr11 Peters & May team, their dedication and passion for the sport is insurmountable!”

To find out more about Peters & May’s power boat racing devision, like our dedicated Facebook page.

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