|Villwock And U-96 Spirit Of Qatar Set Quickest Time In Doha Bay|
|Friday, 19 November 2010 15:08|
DOHA (Qatar): Dave Villwock and U-96 Spirit of Qatar set the pace in Thursday afternoon’s qualifying session for this weekend’s Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, the final round of the 2010 H1 Unlimited Championship, in Doha Bay, Qatar.
Villwock set a scintillating first lap time and bettered it on his next two tours to claim the lead in the qualifying session with a fastest circuit of 230.537 km/h. He improved on that time with a 231.827 km/h in fading sunlight in the dying minutes of qualifying.
Defending National High Points’ champion, Steve David, qualified in second position in U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto by posting a recognised fast lap of 225.950 km/h. David actually beat his original time in a second negated stint on the water. However, another late session saw him improve on his earlier speed with a lap of 228.621 km/h.
Last year’s Oryx Cup winner, J. Michael Kelly, edged into the lead of the session after recording a third lap of 221.914 km/h in U-7 Graham Trucking, as the saline water conditions kept average speeds below those normally associated with hydroplanes running on American inland courses. But the American was displaced by the flying Villwock and David when they took to the water soon afterwards and a late spurt by Jeff Bernard demoted Kelly to fourth.
Igniter relay problems forced Greg Hopp to miss the morning’s test session in U-100 Leland Unlimited and he suffered further technical issues at the end of his qualifying stint where he posted a first lap of 216.519 km/h. Ken Muscatel was the last of the 10 entrants on to the water and eventually clocked a fastest lap of 214.189 km/h, while Kip Brown slotted into fifth position with an average lap speed of 219.431 km/h.
J.W. Myers returned to H1 race action for the first time since sustaining a serious foot injury in the ABPA Detroit Gold Cup, but was off his usual pace in qualifying after ruining his first lap time by hooking the boat. He was one of four drivers who failed to qualify during the first lap runs. Myers’s accident in Detroit occurred when the skid fin on his boat broke, causing him to crash into a seawall. He shattered four toes and needed more than 20 metal screws to repair his foot. Drivers use their left foot to control the front wing of the hydroplane, which flies the boat.
The U-37 Miss Peters & May driver had enjoyed a few hours at the Al-Shahania camel track on Wednesday and accepted the invitation to ride a ‘ship of the desert’ alongside Bob Hughes, president of the Miss Madison Racing team which overseas the running of Steve David’s hydroplane challenger. David opted not to take on the camel challenge! “I would have to be strapped in, wear oxygen and have a canopy,” quipped the defending H1 Unlimited champion.
Jeff Bernard had originally qualified in fifth position with U-5 Formulaboats.com, but was forced out of the original qualifiers’ list after a reported fuel violation. A late session on the water saw him post a quickest tour of 223.368 km/h to move back into the top three.
The wind picked up towards the end of the morning’s Unlimited testing session. The stint began in flat calm conditions, with Dave Villwock in U-96 Spirit of Qatar eventually setting the fastest time on Doha Bay with a tour of 223.36km/h.
The Oryx Cup is being staged with the full support of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which is run under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, and H1 Unlimited, under the chairmanship of Sam Cole.
Spectators are welcome throughout race weekend and a food court, marine trade stands and a boat show are running in conjunction with the race meeting. Event organisers are hopeful of attracting a sizeable crowd to Doha’s Corniche on Friday and Saturday, the number no doubt boosted by the fact that the Oryx Cup is running during the Eid Al-Adha holiday.
Tomorrow (Friday), 90 minutes of testing kick-starts the action on the Doha Bay course and this is followed by the first of the Unlimited heats from 13.00hrs. The day’s second heats begin at 14.45hrs with a podium for the second heat winners and a draw for the third round of heats concluding the day’s programme from 15.35hrs.
Each of the day’s four race heats will be streamed live through the H1Unlimited.com website by Tampa Digital Studios, with the support of global shipping company Peters & May, the QMSF, 5 Axis Industries, Formula Boats, Clifty Engineering, Boneyard Grill in Madison, Schumacher Racing and Go Fast Turn Left Racing. Live news snippets are also being uploaded on www.H1Unlimited.com during the course of the weekend.
Timetable of events – Friday, November 19th
Oryx Cup UIM World Championship – qualifying times (unofficial @ 16.30 hrs)
For further information: