Backup U-7 will race at Columbia Cup, Jimmy Shane driving - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ARCHIVES: Jimmy Shane takes the U-7 for a spin at Celina, OH

Backup U-7 will race at Columbia Cup, Jimmy Shane driving

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Jimmy Shane will drive the backup U-7 hull Jimmy Shane will drive the backup U-7 hull
Shane aboard the 2007 U-1 - PHOTO:  James Crisp Shane aboard the 2007 U-1 - PHOTO: James Crisp

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The team will be sending two boats to the Columbia Cup afterall. The backup U-7 boat is ready to race and is on it's way to the Tri-Cities. The regular U-7 flipped at the Gold Cup in Detroit last week, sustaining massive damage, and raising doubts as to whether the team would be able to race two boats.

The backup boat that will race next wekeeend on the Columbia River is the former U-10 Gregory boat.

"It just came out of the paint and is heading to a shop in Seattle," said team manager Mark Hooton. "That's where some team members are. They need to be able to work on it there and get it raised up and tested out. We'll put on stickers and everything and get it looking like a Formula boat."

Driver Mike Allen will not race. He is recovering from two broken ribs and hopes to be back in time for Seattle or San Diego.

Jimmy Shane will drive the backup boat at the Columbia Cup. Shane was a backup driver last year for the team, filling in for Allen at the Tri-Cities and in Seattle. Last year Allen missed the Columbia Cup with hand injuries.

Hooton said the U7 that was damaged in Detroit is on it's way to Seattle for repairs, and may race again this year. "Seattle maybe, San Diego definietly," predicted Hooton. It suffered "$100,000-$150,000" in damage.

The left sponson split, the engine needs a total overhaul, the cowling is broken, as is the wing and the support system.

Racing with a backup boat and a backup driver isn't ideal, but the team has their reasons for coming to Kennewick.

"We're still in it for points," said Hooton The reason we're bringing the backup boat is because we want to keep competing.  We don't want to lose anything."

Especially with the other boats that are joining the circuit right now. With the Elam coming out and the other boats gathering points we need to maintain where we are and keep building on the points." The U-7 is fourth in the points race.

The other boat is the U-5. Driver Jeff Bernard  curently has that boat running second in the points race, trailing Steve David by 30 pts.

Shane testing the U-7 in Celina, OH - Photo: James Crisp