1999 Budweiser Thunder on the Ohio

Friday Summary

Friday Report:

Ten of the eleven Unlimited hydroplanes schedule to compete in the Budweiser Thunder on the Ohio are  in the pits as of 4:00 pm Central time.  The U-6 Miss Madison has not arrived on site.

Several boats have tested on the Ohio River today...  the first one on the water was Dave Villwock (U-1) who ran a lap of 161.562mph.  Following is the order of testing today with fastest lap speed (mph).

Testing Speeds (mph):

U-9 - 137.15
U-1 - 157.7
U-2  - 159.670
U-9 - 139.9
U-3 -  89.4
U-20 - 134.4
U-100  - 145.8

U-14: While on the water today - it was only so they could move his boat trailer into place ... team is working non-stop in the pits as Dr. Ken Muscatel hopes to qualify today so he can be the one to race his brand new boat for the first time... if they are unable to make the 4:30 to 7:00 pm test session then Dr. Ken will put someone else into his new boat to qualify so he can race on Sunday.  Dr. Ken is flying back to Seattle this evening in order to participate in the Seafair activities in Seattle on Saturday. He's expected back into Evansville late Saturday night.

Unlimited Lights

As for Unlimited Lights, we have the UL-23 Apex Laser and UL16 Alamo in the pits. The UL10 has been spotted in the Evansville area... Total UL boat count should be eight for this event.

UL-10  Charley Wiggins  Earl's Performance Products 
UL-15  Jerry Hopp       Ladyspy.pi.com 
UL-16  Bo Schide        Alamo 
UL-23  Cal Phipps       Apex Laser presents River House
UL-72  Phil Bononcini   Impact Equipment
UL-102 Scott McGregor   Propulsion
UL-110 Randy Haas       Miss CompAir
GNH317 Steve Kuhr       The Irishman

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Budweiser Thunder On The Ohio Racing Schedule


9 - 10 am - Testing Session - Unlimiteds
10 - 11 am - Qualifying Session B - Unlimiteds
11:15 - 11:45 am - Unlimited Drivers Autograph Party
12 - 12:30 pm - Lights practice
12:30 - 2:30 pm - Qualifying Session C - Unlimiteds
3:30 pm - Unlimited Driver's Meeting
3:30 pm - Unlimited Light - Heat 1A
4:00 pm - Unlimited Light - Heat 1B
4:30 pm - Unlimited Light - Heat 2A
5:00 pm - Unlimited Light - Heat 2B


8 - 9:00 am - Unlimited testing
11:00 am - Unlimiteds - Heat 1A
11:30 am - Unlimiteds - Heat 1B
11:45 - 12 Noon - Unlimited Lights Semi Final Race
12:30 pm - Unlimiteds Heat 2A
1:00 pm - Unlimiteds Heat 2B
2:30 pm - Unlimiteds Heat 3A
3:00 pm - Unlimiteds Heat 3B
3:10 - 3:25 pm - Unlimited Lights Championship Final
3:40 pm - Unlimited Provisional Heat
4:10 pm - Budweiser Thunder On The Ohio Final Heat

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Hydros Battle To Continue At The Budweiser Thunder On The Ohio

Dave Villwock Leads Points; Chip Hanauer Returns; Greg Hopp Is Hot; And More

The 1999 Ralph's Unlimited Thunder Tour continues this weekend in Evansville, Ind., at the annual Budweiser Thunder on the Ohio. Miss Budweiser driver Dave Villwock, coming off a dominant effort this past weekend in Barrie, Ont., is the three-time defending champion at the Evansville event  and currently holds an 839-point lead in the championship battle.

Chip Hanauer, the winningest driver in Evansville history with seven victories to his credit, returns to the Hydros circuit in the Miss PICO entry after a two-and-a-half year absence on the tour. Hanauer won the season-opening Hydros race in Lake Havasu, Ariz.  Since his unlimited debut in 1976, he has amassed seven National Championships and ten Gold Cups, including a record seven straight from 1982-88.

Hanauer currently holds the following pre-restrictor records at the two-mile Evansville course:

Qualification lap: 165.975 mph in Miss Budweiser (1993)
Competition lap: 156.713 mph in Miss Budweiser (1993)
6-mile heat: 154.185 mph in Miss Budweiser (1993)
10-mile heat: 146.904 mph in Miss Budweiser (1993)
28-mile race: 144.869 mph in Miss Budweiser (1992)

Expected to give Villwock and Hanauer a challenge in Evansville is rookie Greg Hopp, who is currently third in Hydros points.  He finished third in Lake Havasu and fourth in Barrie.

YORK International driver Mark Weber, currently fourth in points, will be racing in Evansville despite an accident last weekend in Barrie.  The team reports that they will be working non-stop to repair the boat in time for testing on Friday.

Mike Weber, driving the Evansville-based U-3 for Ed Cooper Jr. and Sr., will be looking to solidify his fifth-place points standings with the only piston-powered Hydro on the unlimited tour.

Testing and qualifying will get underway on Friday, June 25 and continue through raceday on June 27.

(Republished from Hydros™)