2001 Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup
Prestigious APBA Gold Cup Awaits Unlimiteds in Detroit
The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series Presented by Laughlin will make its annual stop next weekend (July 12-15) on the Detroit River for the prestigious Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup. Considered the crown jewel for powerboat racers, the APBA Gold Cup, which dates back to 1904, is the oldest active motorsports trophy in the world.
Careers have been built around success in Detroit. The legendary Bill Muncey, who won eight APBA Gold Cups and whose name graces the park where the pits are located in Detroit, actually scored a total of nine of his 62 career wins on the Detroit River. Chip Hanauer, who retired last season with 61 career wins, has won an unprecedented 11 ABPA Gold Cups. Miss Budweiser team owner Bernie Little, the most successful boat racer in the history of Unlimited racing, has 13 APBA Gold Cups to his credit including last year.
"The APBA Gold Cup always seems to bring out the best in every driver and this year should be one of the most exciting races," said Gary Garbrecht, HYDRO-PROP President. "Having your name engraved on the Gold Cup is a boat racers dream and everyone will strive for that ultimate goal in Detroit."
Reigning champion Dave Villwock will be in Detroit to defend his APBA Gold Cup. Challenging Villwock will be Scott Pierce, Steve David, Mark Weber, Mitch Evans, Jimmy King, Mike Hanson, Ken Muscatel, Nate Brown, Terry Troxell and Greg Hopp.
Defending APBA Gold Cup Champion
Dave Villwock "The Gold Cup is probably one of the most challenging races primarily because of where it is held," said Villwock. "Detroit has a long tradition with Unlimited Hydroplane racing and coupled with the challenges of the Detroit River, have made the Gold Cups that I have won very special. It is like winning the Daytona 500 or Indianapolis 500."
Local Drivers Aim for Ultimate Goal
Mark Weber, St. Clair Shores, Mich. and Jimmy King, Richmond, Mich. will have their loyal fans watching them as they compete in the APBA Gold Cup. Both Weber and King grew up watching the Unlimited's roar along the Detroit River and Weber was runner-up in the 2000 race.
History on the Detroit River
Since 1916, the Detroit River has been the scene for volumes of Gold Cup history.
1921: 80 years ago, Gar Wood won a fifth consecutive Gold Cup in Miss America.
1946: 55 years ago, bandleader Guy Lombardo drove his Tempo VI to victory in the first post-war Gold Cup.
1950: 51 years ago, the face of powerboat racing changed drastically when the APBA announced that the winning boat would defend the Gold Cup the following year in the boat's hometown. That year, Ted Jones drove Slo-Mo-Shun IV to victory, taking the Gold Cup from Detroit to Seattle.
1976: 25 years ago, Tom D'Eath drove Detroiter George Simon's Miss U.S. to an emotional victory in the Bicentennial Gold Cup
1986: 15 years ago, Chip Hanauer tied Gar Wood's record, winning a fifth consecutive Gold Cup aboard Fran Muncey's Miller American
1996: 5 years ago, Dave Villwock pilots Fred Leland's PICO's American Dream to a first Gold Cup victory
Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup Historical Facts
The first APBA Gold Cup was awarded in 1904 in New York to C.C. Riotte
First Detroit entry to win Gold Cup - Miss Detroit driven by J. Milot and J. Beebe in 1915
Detroit's first Unlimited race was in 1916
Local Detroit boat racer Gar Wood won the Gold Cup five straight times - 1917-1921
Chip Hanauer has won 11 APBA Gold Cups including seven straight - 1982-1988
Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser has won 13 APBA Gold Cups
Dave Villwock is a four-time APBA Gold Cup Champion
In addition to the Unlimited Hydroplanes, many other powerboat races will highlight the Spirit of Detroit Thunderfestival including, Unlimited Lights, Jersey Speed Skiffs, Inflatables and Vintage boats.
Practice and qualifying for the Unlimited Hydroplanes will begin on Thursday, July 12 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, July 15. The Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday, August 11 at 4:00 PM (EDT).