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Auburn's Villwock remains king, captures 10th Gold Cup
Auburn's Dave Villwock survived an early battle with Steve David and a treacherous Detroit River to take his 10th APBA Gold Cup unlimited hydroplane race on Sunday.
Villwock, driving the U-1 Spirit of Qatar 96, took the early lead as David absorbed the full brunt of Villwock's roostertail unexpectedly in turn 2. Villwork blazed to a commanding lead that proved too much for David and the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto.
Villwock trailed Steve David on the first lap but recovered from the near mishap to run away from David and take the checkered flag by a quarter of a lap.
David's team filed an appeal after the race, claiming Villwock had chopped him on the third lap of the event, causing him to lose momentum. Mike Noonan, chief race referee, dismissed the appeal later and upheld Villwock's victory.
Villwock averaged 151.089 mph to take the win. David followed ay 147.04 mph. J Michael Kelly in the U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing took third.
Villwock's victory was his fourth Gold Cup win in a row. David has finished runner-up six times in the race.
It was also Villwock's 67th unlimited victory. The only driver to have more Gold Cup victories is the legendary Chip Hanauer, who won the race 11 times.
"It's unbelievable ... unbelievable," Villwock said. "The guys (crew) did a great job with the boat."
Chip Hanauer won 11 Gold Cups, from 1982 through 1999. Villwock won his first Gold Cup in 1996.
The river and the weather played a significant role in creating the perfect storm and the kind of conditions that produced three blowover accidents – one with Mike Webster in the U-22 Great Scott! Presents Matrix Systems on Saturday, and JW Meyers in the U-11 Peters and May and Scott Liddycoat in the U-88 Degree Men in exactly the same spot on Sunday.
Damage to the boats belonging to Myers and Liddycoat was less severe than Webster's. Myers and Liddycoat are expected to be ready to race in Tri-Cities on Jly 27-29.
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2012 Air National Guard H1 Unlimited Detroit Yacht Club APBA
Gold Cup Final Heat
Finish, boat, driver, avg. speed,points
1 . U-1 Spirit of Qatar 96, Dave Villwock, 151.089, 400
2 . U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David, 147.04, 300
3 . U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, J. Michael Kelly, 138.801, 225
4 . U-9 Miss Al Deeby Chrysler, Jon Zimmerman, 138.018, 169
5 . U-57 Formulaboats.com Jarvis Fire-Water Repair, Mark Evans, 125.182, 127
6 . U-5 Graham Trucking, Jimmy Shane, 132.819, 95