2000 Ralph's/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup

Miss Budweiser Mission Bay preview

San Diego, CA, (September 12, 2000) — Bernie Little's World Champion Miss Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Team will compete at San Diego's Mission Bay this weekend, September 15-17, wrapping up the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series at the San Diego Bayfair's Ralph's/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup.

The Miss Budweiser team and driver Dave Villwock come to San Diego after winning five of the six races this season, posting their last victory in early August at Seattle. The Miss Budweiser team has been victorious at Lake Havasu, AZ; Evansville, IN; Madison, IN; Detroit, MI and Seattle, WA.

San Diego has always been a favorite venue for both Little and Villwock and both have experienced great success on Mission Bay. Little has won twelve races while Villwock has won four including the last two. Villwock and the Miss Budweiser also set a new world speed record last year on Mission Bay. Villwock posted the new record during qualifying at San Diego with a speed of 173.384 miles per hour. "The Miss Budweiser team has had great success over the years at San Diego," said Villwock. "But this year will be different and we need to come prepared for a battle. Every team has made significant improvements throughout the season and they all arrive in San Diego looking to beat the Miss Budweiser."

Mission Bay is one of the prettiest sites on the Unlimited hydroplane circuit. It is the first and only event this season that the Miss Budweiser competes in salt water, which can cause numerous problems. Salt water is capable of crystallizing on the turbine engines and causing them to seize. "With the field bunched so closely, it will be tough to maneuver without catching spray from other boats," said Villwock. "Most parts of the engine are made from magnesium, which does not mix well with salt. Couple these with the Unlimited hydroplanes high speeds generated from the more buoyant salt water and each race becomes very interesting."

Russ Wicks, Seattle, WA, will attempt to qualify as an Unlimited Hydroplane driver in the Miss Budweiser at San Diego. Wicks broke the World Water Speed Record for a propeller-driven boat with an average speed of 205.494 mph back in June on Lake Washington in Seattle. Wicks will need to drive the Miss Budweiser for two laps around the course with an average lap speed of at least 130 mph. "We are pleased to give Russ the chance to qualify as an Unlimited driver and we are happy to help and wish him the best," said Villwock.

Practice and qualifying will begin for San Diego's Bayfair Ralph's/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup Friday, September 15 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, September 17.