Preston hydroplane sits atop leader board

July 19, 2011

By Staff

The Preston-based unlimited hydroplane Miss Red Dot finds itself on top of the leader board after completing the first two races of the H1 Air National Guard circuit.

The U-17 Miss Red Dot, based in Preston, becomes mostly plane with very little hydro (water, that is), as it goes airborne on the Detroit River July 9 during the first day of Gold Cup racing in Detroit. By Robert F. Peters

The U-17 Miss Red Dot, owned by Our Gang Racing LLC, has 2,628 points. The U-96 Spirit of Qatar is second with 2,600 points.

Miss Red Dot is piloted by Kip Brown, who won two of the preliminary heats of racing in Madison, Ind., during the July 4 weekend.

“We started the weekend with my first win in an unlimited hydroplane,” Brown said.

While the team was ecstatic about the win, Brown and Miss Red Dot were not finished. Brown drove the boat to a victory in the second heat, too. He finished second in the final heat of the regatta to give Our Gang Racing its first podium finish in four years.

After the victory at Madison, the Our Gang Racing team headed for Detroit and the 102nd running of the Gold Cup. Brown did not accompany the team because he returned home to compete in an inboard hydroplane race. Cal Phipps, of Detroit, drove Miss Red Dot at the Gold Cup.

“Cal is a veteran and knows his way around the Detroit race course,” said Nate Brown, a longtime hydroplane racer and one of the principal owners of the Miss Red Dot. He is also the uncle of driver Kip Brown.

Phipps took the Miss Red Dot to two more heat victories, and also had a second-place and third-place finish in two other heats. In the final, a wave tore part of the front wing off the board and the Miss Red Dot was unable to finish the race.

“We have a state of the art boat, three turbine engines and plenty of inventory,” John O’Brien, one of the 12 owners of the hydroplane, said. “We are as deep as any team out there and will ride this wave as long as we can.”

The Miss Red Dot heads for the Tri-Cities July 29 and races at Seafair Aug. 5.

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