U-96 Spirit of Qatar
The Ellstrom family--consisting of father Sven, sons Erick and Tom, and daughter Lisa--made its debut on the Unlimited racing scene as the sponsor of an experimental four-point hydroplane, owned by Glen Davis, in 1994. The next year, the family acquired a boat of its own and, under the leadership of crew chief Erick Ellstrom, the U-16 has racked up 20 victories since 2000 and won the National High Point Team Championship in 2005 and 2007.
Despite a trio of first-place finishes in 2006, MISS E-LAM PLUS was unable to defend her High Points crown. However, with legendary driver Dave Villwock behind the wheel, the Ellstroms were determined to reclaim their spot atop the leaderboard in 2007. And they did.
The Ellstroms followed a reduced schedule in 2008 and only appeared at two races but still took first-place at their hometown Chevrolet Cup on Seattle's Lake Washington.
Back to a full schedule in 2009, MISS E-LAM PLUS placed second to OH BOY! OBERTO/MISS MADISON in National High Points for the season but still won more races--three--than any other team.
In 2010, the U-16 will represent Qatar and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation racing as the Spirit of Qatar.
Driver Profile :
DAVE VILLWOCK:With 59 career victories under his belt, Dave Villwock is three victories away from tying the late Bill Muncey as the all-time winningest driver in the sport’s history. Villwock has been at the wheel of some of the best boats around – PICO American Dream, Miss Budweiser, and currently the U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus. While driving the Miss Budweiser, Villwock won 37 races, four Gold Cups and six National Championships. As the PICO American Dream’s driver, he claimed first-place in eight races, taking home one Gold Cup as well as another National High Point Championship. All told, Villwock has been awarded the APBA Gold Cup six times and captured the National High Point Driver Championship an astounding nine times. In 2009, Villwock was the top qualifier at every race except one.
In the last race prior to the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship, Villwock crashed while racing deck-to-deck with the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison.
In Doha, Villwock was leading the final heat when engine problems slowed the U-16, leading to a third place finish.
Dave Villwock Victories (with MISS E-LAM PLUS)
(1) 2005 - Tri-Cities, WA (Columbia Cup)
(2) 2005 - San Diego, CA (Bill Muncey Cup)
(3) 2006 - Evansville, IN (Thunder On The Ohio)
(4) 2006 - Madison, IN (Indiana Governor's Cup)
(5) 2006 - Tri-Cities, WA (Atomic Cup)
(6) 2007 - Evansville, IN (Thunder On The Ohio)
(7) 2007 - Madison, IN (Indiana Governor's Cup)
(8) 2007 - Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)
(9) 2007 - Tri-Cities, WA (Columbia Cup)
(10) 2008 - Seattle, WA (Seafair)
(11) 2009 - Madison, IN (Indiana Governor's Cup)
(12) 2009 - Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)
(13) 2009 - Seattle, WA (Seafair)