Dave Villwock looks to add to his impressive 2009 season with a win in the ABRA's next stop on the Unlimited Hydroplane circuit which comes this weekend in Indiana.
Courtesy: ABRA Media Relations
EVANSVILLE, Ind.--The battle for the coveted national high point championship continues this weekend when the ABRA teams gather on the Ohio River for the 31st annual Thunder on the Ohio unlimited hydroplane race (August 22-23).
Dave Villwock (
Going into this race, David holds a slight 249 point lead with his Oh Boy! Oberto U-1 team.
“We suffered a pretty big blow a few weeks ago in
That hole and the subsequent engine damage knocked David out of the final heat at the Chevrolet Cup at Seafair, allowing Villwock’s U-16 Ellstrom Elam Plus team to capture 400 points and the championship.
“I thought I had a pretty good line going in against Dave (Villwock),” added David. “Then I hit some stuff, bounced around and then said to my crew ‘I think we’re going over.’
“We didn’t go over but the engine revved up over 48 percent on the N2 and the engine was around 600 to 900 (Celsius temp) and I had to shut it down otherwise we would have blown the engine.”
“Those things happen and we have been fortunate this year,” said Villwock, the winningest active driver with 59 career wins. “This season we have had a few issues but we have been able to overcome most.”
Villwock has won three of the four races on the circuit this year.
The boats will test Saturday morning with qualifying set for the afternoon. All elimination heat and the championship final will take place on Sunday.
A fleet of 11 boats are expected to be in
TICKET INFORMATION: Buttons are $15 and are available at most supermarkets, banks and credit unions and MotoMart. Or visit www.thunderontheohio.net.
GREAT RUN FOR
“We have had our share of mechanical problems throughout the year,” said King. “I am really proud of the way this team has worked to keep us competitive. It is easy to give up but these guys have worked their butts off to get us ready for each event this year.”
Cooper’s boat is the lone piston powered craft on the ABRA circuit. While all other teams run T-5 Turbine, the Cooper boat is powered by a V-12 Allison engine—the same engine used by the P-51 Mustangs fighter planes in World War II. The combination of speed and noise makes this team one of the big, fan favorites.
VILLWOCK (REALLY) 10 OF LAST 12: Since Dave Villwock did not race in
NATE BROWN BACK IN THE COCKPIT? Nate Brown announced his retirement from the sport as a driver in 2008 but don’t be surprised if you see him back behind the wheel of the U-17 actiVwater hydroplane for a few laps this weekend. Driver Kip Brown cannot make the trek to
Muncey played a major role in
Having hosted its first Thunderboat classic in 1938, only two current race sites pre-date
Thunder on the
No. Boat Name Driver Hometown Owner Hometown
U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David Lighthouse
U-3 Master Tire Jimmy King
U-5 Formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard Kent,
U-7 Graham Trucking J Michael Kelly Puyallup,
U-17 actiVwater Kip Brown Maple Valley, Wash Nate Brown Preston, Wash
U-22 Matrix Systems Mike Webster Reading, Pa Steve & Sue Webster Reading, Pa U-25 Superior Racing Dr. Ken Muscatel
U-48 Albert Lee Brian Perkins Black Diamond,
U-100 Mirageboats.com Greg