The 28-year-old pilots -- flies might be a more apt word -- these 3,000-horsepower winged thunderboats like few others, always willing to push the envelope and test the limits of their performance.
But outer space? Shane says he has no real desire to travel into the wild blue yonder, even though he probably could.
By day, Shane races powerboats; by night, he builds spacecraft for private aerospace company Blue Origin, located in
Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder
But would he one day fly for him?
"It's an amazing place, but I have no aspirations to test my limits in a rocket," Shane said when asked if he'd ever pilot a spacecraft -- or go along for the ride as a passenger. "I'll stick to the water, thank you."
Today, Shane will do just that on the Detroit River.
He'll belt into the cockpit of his unlimited machine -- the U-6
Shane is the future of unlimited hydroplane racing, following in the wake of such superstars of the sport as
"Our boat is extremely fast, and all drivers want to win the Gold Cup. It's the epitome of any boat-racing trophy or achievement," said Shane, who is from
Last year, Shane had a boat to win at Detroit but broke a canard in the Gold Cup final and finished fifth to
"I was a fraction of a second early to the line," Shane said of his and the team's miscalculation at
Shane is taking over from one of the best unlimited hydroplane drivers who ever lived in David, who hung up the helmet after last season.
He knows he has big shoes to fill.
The motto of the Blue Origin company is "Gradatim Ferociter," Latin for "step-by-step, ferociously."
It fits with Shane's philosophy about racing. He knows he is still young and somewhat inexperienced in these enormously powerful and unforgiving boats. But he attacks the racecourse like Villwock and David did and already has proven he has what it takes.
"The Detroit River is extremely challenging," said Shane, who drove for
Shane, however, is ready to win in the Motor City.
"We'll give it 110%," Shane said. "There's no other way here."
ROAR ON THE RIVER
ROAR ON THE RIVER
What: Detroit APBA Gold Cup presented by the
Today (free) -- H1 unlimited hydroplane heats at noon, qualifying at
Where: Detroit River racecourse (between MacArthur Bridge and Roostertail).
Weekend support races: 5-liter hydroplanes and vintage boats.
Live weekend entertainment: Music, bands and hot-rod show.
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