|U-96 Spirit Of Qatar’s Dave Villwock Creates History By Winning Detroit Apba Gold Cup|
|Tuesday, 19 July 2011 15:36|
DETROIT (USA): Dave Villwock broke the legendary Bill Muncey’s record of 62 race wins when he powered U-96 Spirit of Qatar to a stunning victory in the 102nd APBA Gold Cup, round two of the 2011 Air National Guard H1 Unlimited Championship, in Detroit, USA, on Sunday.
The U-96 Spirit of Qatar driver secured his 63rd race victory and his ninth Gold Cup trophy after winning both his heats on the Detroit River earlier in the session to round off a dramatic seven days since his ill-fated retirement in Madison last weekend.
“I still think I’m in a great club,” said Villwock. “I guess you could call it the Rushmore of boat racing. Myself, Chip Hanauer (61 victories) and Bill Muncey each brought something different to the sport.”
After racing against the clock this week to repair U-96 Spirit of Qatar following its spectacular coming together with Steve David’s Oh Boy! Oberto boat at the Madison Regatta, Villwock’s preparations for the Detroit race also suffered an early setback.
If replacing a large section of the deck, the rear wing supports and the turbine was not bad enough, the multiple Gold Cup champion blew a gearbox during a preliminary heat and entered race weekend with just one engine and gearbox as he attempted to overhaul Muncey’s 62 career race win record.
Villwock was focused going into the final and made sure no one was going to keep him from getting the record. He moved into an early lead, averaging 138.8mph, and put some distance between his boat and second-placed finisher Scott Liddycoat.
Villwock earned his first career win on Mission Bay in San Diego in 1992 and has gone on to win nine national high points championship titles and 145 of 223 heats he has started.
“Bill would have been proud of him,” said Muncey’s widow Fran. “He’s so dedicated to the sport and has paid his dues.”
U-96 Spirit of Qatar is backed by the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani. “On behalf of everyone at the QMSF, I congratulate Dave and everyone at Ellstrom Racing on this tremendous achievement,” said Sheikh Hassan.
Six drivers each won one of the early qualifying heats, with J Michael Kelly, JW Myers, Cal Phipps, Jeff Bernard and Greg Hopp entering the history books alongside Villwock, the winner of heat 2A. A minor rib injury forced Steve David to skip the Detroit meeting, with Jon Zimmerman standing in for the reigning high points champion.
Villwock went on to win Sunday’s heats 3B and 4B at the Gold Cup, the oldest active trophy in all motor sport, which was first handed out in 1904.
Top 5 Final Results - Air National Guard Hydroplane Series in Detroit
Position, driver, boat, speed
1. Dave Villwock, Spirit of Qatar, 138.807 mph
2. Scott Liddycoat, Valken Sports, 131.360 mph
3. Jeff Bernard, Graham Trucking, 129.239 mph
4. J Michael Kelly, Degree Men, NA
5. Cal Phipps, Miss Red Dot, NA
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