Outstanding season finishing Second in National points! Along with the First Gold Cup Win in the teams’ history.
JMK placed second in the 2015 National High Point Championship with four podium finishes and notching his second consecutive Seafair crown, taking the 2015 win from Jimmy Shane after an amazing five-lap battle that was easily one of the best in H1 Unlimited history. He also won the 2015 Madison Regatta Exhibition Shootout.
In 2015, Robertson took over with his first full-time Unlimited ride in the U-7 Graham Trucking of Racing. Robertson placed 10th in the National High Point Championship with sixth place finishes at the UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit Hydrofest and San Diego Bayfair.
Despite a driver change during the offseason, and adding a second boat to the Graham Trucking Racing Team, for the second consecutive season, the team won four races. Graham Trucking Racing opened the 2014 season by winning the Indiana Governor’s Cup in Madison, Ind., where J. Michael Kelly returned triumphantly, driving the U-1 and Cal Phipps began the year with a third-place finish in the U-7. At the Gold Cup, the U-1 jumped the score-up buoy by a fraction of a second and despite finishing first on the water, suffered a one-lap penalty and did not place on the podium. That disappointment, however, was balanced by Phipps’ second-straight podium finish, when he took third in the U-7. Bigger disappointment hit in the Tri-Cities when the U-1 suffered major deck and frame damage during a heat on Saturday. The crew worked late into the night to repair the damage and had Kelly’s boat ready to run again on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, damage re-occurred in the first heat on Sunday morning and the team was forced to withdraw. The U-7 went on to win a heat but did not podium in the final. Seattle turned the tide for the team, just as it had in 2013. Kelly drove a commanding final heat in the U-1 to take his second win of the season. In San Diego, a win streak was born, as Kelly won again, with Phipps in the U-7 finishing second. The team won again in Doha when Kelly completed a perfect weekend at the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, winning all of his heats and the final, marking Graham Trucking Racing’s fifth (of six) Oryx Cup wins, and the team’s fourth straight.
Thirteen may have been the lucky number as 2013 was quite possibly the best season in the history of the Graham Trucking Racing. The season started with a third consecutive Oryx Cup UIM World Championship for Graham Trucking Racing, when Jimmy Shane won the final heat on Qatar’s National Sports Day (Tuesday, Feb. 12) in Doha. The team then went on to win three consecutive races — Seattle, Coeur d’Alene and San Diego — to close out the season and claim the H1 Unlimited High Points National Championship. It was the second national title in the history of Graham Trucking Racing and was quite possibly the closest championship race points race in the history of the sport. Our team won the title by a mere 68 points over the second place boat. The Graham Trucking Racing Team also earned podium finishes at Sacramento (second place) and at Tri-Cities (second), so the team had six podium finishes in seven races, including four victories.
Running just one boat in 2012, the Graham Trucking /Team Porter, proved they were still a force to be reckoned with. Driver Jimmy Shane, running his first full season in an unlimited, posted four podium finishes, taking his first career win at the Lamb Weston Columbia Cup in Tri-Cities, followed by second-place finishes at Seattle and San Diego. Shane capped off the 2012 season by winning the UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar, and finishing second in the National High Points standings.
Change was the word as the 2011 season began. Rookie driver Scott Liddycoat took over the cockpit of the U-7. PPE, LLC launched the New Driver Development Program with N. Mark Evans mentoring rookie Bianca Bononcini in the U-57 Formulaboats.com. Graham Trucking shifted sponsorship to the U-5 and pilot Jeff Bernard while new sponsor Valken Sports joined the U-7 crew. The season featured good, close racing heats – some between teammates and was highlighted by the UIM World Championship victory for the U-7, the second place for U-5 and fourth for U-57 in Doha, Qatar.
In 2010, the season high points standings were reversed over 2009 for Team Porter, with J. Michael Kelly driving the U-7 Graham Trucking to a third-place finish and Jeff Bernard skippering the U-5 Formula Boats to a fourth-place finish. It was this season, as well, that the team stepped up to add the U-57 Formulaboats.com into the fleet, with N. Mark Evans taking over as skipper when the boats arrived in Tri-Cities. Jimmy Shane continued as the team’s backup driver during the season and served on the crew.
Ted Porter’s first of four world championships came in Doha, Qatar when J. Michael Kelly drove the U-7 Graham Trucking to a first-place finish in the final of the inaugural Oryx Cup. Team Porter also won the 2009 Evansville Thunder on the Ohio when Jeff Bernard piloted the U-5 Formula Boats to first place in the final event run in Evansville. The team finished third (U-5, Bernard) and fourth (U-7, Kelly) in the National High Points standings in 2009.
The team’s third full season with the former Miss Budweiser equipment was a very good year. Jeff Bernard piloted the U-5 Formula Boats I to wins at the Madison Regatta and the San Diego Bayfair Cup, and finished second in the National High Points standings, just 678 points behind the Oh Boy! Oberto, which won the season championship for the first time. Mike Allen drove the U-7 Formula Boats II to fifth in the points standings.
The defense of the National Championship was quickly sidetracked by accidents, injuries, and equipment damage. Both the U-1 and U-5 sustained damage in accidents in Evansville, IN. U-1 was involved in the second accident in Detroit and driver Mike Allen sustained an injury that sidelined him for two races. Jimmy Shane joined the team in relief of Mike Allen in the U-1 backup hull in Tri-Cities and Seattle. Mike returned in the rebuilt U-1 primary hull for the San Diego race. Jeff Bernard’s season-ending final heat against Steve David in Oh Boy! Oberto was described by many as the best final heat in many years raising expectations for 2008. U-5 completed the season fourth in National High Points while the U-1 finished 10th.
The first-ever Formula Boats sponsored unlimited hydroplane — Chad Sanderson’s U-5, which was a Leland hull driven by Mike Allen during the 2005 season. It was the official entry into the sport for Ted Porter and his family. Ted Porter formed the Precision Performance Engineering, LLC team with the purchase of 2 former Miss Budweiser hulls (T5 & T6) forming a 2 boat team sponsored by Formulaboats.com. Mike Weber served as team manager and U-5 driver before surrendering driving duties to Jeff Bernard for Seattle and San Diego. U-7 driven by Unlimited rookie Mike Allen, won at Valleyfield, Quebec and consistent performances throughout the year afforded the U-7 team the National Championship and the U-1 designation for 2007. The U-5 completed the season in 6th place in National High Points.
Formula began its proud tradition of unlimited hydroplane racing with the sponsorship of Chad Sanderson’s U-5 in 2005. Throughout the season, driver Mike Weber wrung the maximum performance from the old hull. Mike Allen was given his first opportunity in an unlimited cockpit, testing the U-5 at the Nashville race. Future Formula Boat driver Jeff Bernard gained his first heat win against Weber and the U-5 in the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair in the provisional heat in Seattle. The U-5 Formula Boats finished the season a respectable fifth place in the National High Points.