|U-96 Spirit Of Qatar’s Dave Villwock Makes Late Charge To Win Lamb-Weston Columbia Cup|
|Thursday, 04 August 2011 03:58|
TRI-CITIES (USA): Record-breaking U-96 Spirit of Qatar driver Dave Villwock made a late charge through the field in the final to overtake Steve David and win a thrilling Lamb-Weston Columbia Cup round of the Air National Guard Hydroplane race series on the Columbia River in Tri-Cities, Washington State, on Sunday.
The Qatar-supported team driver was able to break David’s winning streak of three race victories at the venue by capping a perfect weekend that included success in his preliminary heats. The win was far from straightforward, however, and Villwock returned to the pits at the end with the turbine engine smoking and the cowling removed from U-96 Spirit of Qatar.
“We’ve kind of used the boat up,” said Villwock, who also won heats 2C and 3C on Sunday and now leads the National High Points standings after three rounds. “It looks like a top fuel car going through the lights on fire with parts throwing out of it. We’ll get it back in shape for Seattle.”
In the final, David edged into an early lead and the two veteran drivers were neck-and-neck for two and a half laps. By lap three, Villwock, who was running on the outside, was able to chase down David and pass him. He duly extended that lead on the final tour and earned his seventh Lamb-Weston Columbia Cup and a 64th career win. Kip Brown finished third.
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.
Race officials estimate that 120,000 people attended the race on the Columbia River. The series moves to Seattle next weekend for the Seattle Seafair.
Lamb-Weston Columbia Cup – final results
Position, driver, boat, speed
1. Dave Villwock, Spirit of Qatar, 150.422 mph
2. Steve David, Oh Boy! Oberto, 140.528 mph
3. Kip Brown, Miss Red Dot, 139.412 mph
4. Jeff Bernard, Graham Trucking, 137.338 mph
5. J Michael Kelly, Degree Men, 137.057 mph
National High Points after round 3 (Drivers):
1. U-96 Spirit of Qatar Dave Villwock 4,300 points
2. U-5 Graham Trucking Jeff Bernard 3,568 points
3. U-7 Valken Sports Scott Liddycoat 3,330 points
4. U-17 Miss Red Dot Kip Brown 2,665 points, etc
For further information: