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Keeping Pace

Villwock ties Hanauer in career Unlimited Hydroplane victories

Dave Villwock once served as a crew chief for Chip Hanauer. On Sunday he equaled the living legend in career Unlimited Hydroplane main event victories with 61. Villwock can move past Hanauer at the season’s finale set for Qatar in November.

Courtesy: H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series Media Relations

Dave Villwock tied legendary driver Chip Hanauer with 61 career wins with a dominant performance Sunday at the Air Guard Championship presented by Degree Men at San Diego Bayfair.


Villwock led Oh Boy! Oberto’s Steve David from start to finish in the 5-lap final and in the process won his eighth Bayfair title.

The Seattle-area native was hard to beat, winning three heats to earn the coveted inside lane for the final.


In tying Hanauer’s record, Villwock is now one victory away from matching the great Bill Muncey’s 62 career victories. Villwock could tie Muncey as early as November when the H1 Unlimited tour goes to Doha, Qatar, for its season finale.


“Chip (Hanauer) was a big mentor of mine. I don’t think I could have been successful without having spent those years with him,” Villwock said. “I would watch how Chip would approach a race and strategize.”


David came into San Diego with a 500-point lead only to watch Villwock trim the lead to 186 points on the 2.5-mile Bill Muncey racecourse. That means the season championship will be determined in Qatar.“We’re going in leading, not chasing him in the points race,”

David said. “We’re going into a 2-mile course in Qatar, which is what Seattle was, where we won last month,”

In earlier heat action Sunday, Villwock won his two races, while David and J Michael Kelly in the Air Guard boat captured their respective heats. A large crowd turned out to watch the return of H1 Unlimited hydroplanes after a one-year hiatus in San Diego. Their appearance was thanks to the sponsorship by Air National Guard, Degree Men, and Scott and Linda Carson.

All active military and reservists were admitted for free to Bayfair.“I was impressed by the number of servicemen and women that turned out for Bayfair, and for some it was the first time they had seen these boats run in person,” said Sam Cole, chairman of H1 Unlimited. “I tried to shake as many hands as I could to thank them for their service to the country.”

Top 5 Results for Air Guard Championship Presented by Degree Men

1. Dave Villwock, Spirit of Qatar, 153.551 mph

2. Steve David, Oh Boy! Oberto, 150.491 mph

3. J Michael Kelly, Air Guard, 143.558 mph

4. Jeff Bernard, Graham Trucking presents

5. Jon Zimmerman, Degree Men, 129.347 mph

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

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