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Keeping Pace

Sun., July 12, 2009, 1:15 a.m.

Steve David & Dave Villwock Win Gold Cup Prelims

Steve David's U-1 Oh Boy Oberto championship Unlimited Hydroplane will be the favorite to repeat as the circuit's champion in 2009. (Photo courtesy ABRA) (The Spokesman-Review)
Steve David's U-1 Oh Boy Oberto championship Unlimited Hydroplane will be the favorite to repeat as the circuit's champion in 2009. (Photo courtesy ABRA) (The Spokesman-Review)

Defending champions Steve David and the ageless Dave Villwock picked up Heat Race wins on Saturday during the Detroit Gold Cup. The final round is set for Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy: ABRA Media Relations

DETROIT, Mich.–Steve David drove the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto to victory in Heat 1-A of the Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup in Detroit.  Dave Villwock won Heat 1-B driving Ellstrom's Elam Plus.


Defending champ U1 Oh Boy! Oberto did not pull the U16 Miss Elam Plus for the first time this year in a heat. Driver Steve David commented, "Hey bring them on. They make us run better cause they are the fastest." However David was not going to have it any easier as he was paried with both Ted Porter entries U5 and U7 driven by Jeff Bernard and J MIchael Kelly respectivly and the U48 driven by young gun Brian Perkins. Kip Brown, in an awesome new boat and hard charging. Rounding out the heat an impressive new driver in a new boat for the first time this year in competition, Mike Webster in the U22. 

This 2.5 mile course is the Yankee Stadium of boat racing. The late Bill Muncey used to say you do not beat the Detroit River, you survive the Detroit River.

Weather conditions have improved drastically over the past hour. The sun is out and the water is very well laid down, even for Detroit. 

The U48 Whirlpool Presents Miss Albert Lee is the first boat to be lifted into the water as Brian Perkins readies himself to be fitted into the cockpit of that boat. Kip Browns boat the U17 Our Gang Racing is now on the water also. U1 Oh Boy! Oberto, driven by defending champ Steve David is being belted in. Both U5 and U7 both are sitting in the water as well. 

At the start of the heat it was the U7 in lane one with the Oberto lane 2. Lane three went to the U7 Graham Trucking and lane four to U48 Miss Albert Lee. 

Going down the back stretch it was the U1 and U5 followed close by the U7, entering the turn the U1 left just enough room for a lane according to the ABRA officials and the U5 slid out running through the roostertail of the U1. That caused Bernard to loose precious speed and his team mate passed him as he struggled to keep the fire lit. After that is was easy going for the defending champ U1 Oh Boy! Oberto. the final finish was the U1, U5, U7, U17, U48 and the U22.


The fastest qualifyer U16 Miss Elam Plus was in this heat and had his biggest competition from the U3, Miss Chrysler Jeep, Dave had all he could handle from the hard charging Jimmy King who kept up the pressure  Then in lap 3 King went dead as the boat suddenly went dead in the water. 

Greg Hopp had a scare as his U100 went dead in the water in lap 1 as he was heading up the back stretch. Hopp got it restarted and held off a run by the U37 who was penalized for dislodging a bouy on lap 3. 

The final order of finish was the U16, U25, U100 U37 the U3 DNF. 

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.