2010 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship

Villwock wins #62: takes Oryx Cup

David clinches 5th driver's title Oberto grabs 3rd National crown

Steve David won two heats Friday on the opening day of the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship November 19-20 in Doha, Qatar.

David took advantage of Dave Villwock's violent spinout in the first heat of the day to increase his lead to 566 points. David in the Oh Boy! Oberto won his first heat from the inside lane and the next heat from the outside position.

He was able to hold on in Saturday's two heats and final, and has now won five of the last six points championships. "I was down here watching the accident and that's not what you want to happen," David said. "You hate ever seeing a competitor go down because you really want to race."

The Oberto was looking to defend its points lead, and also come home with a victory at the Oryx Cup.

"We stuck to our game and didn't let ego take over," David said.

Villwock coming into the first heat was among the favorites after posting the fastest qualifying speed of 143.249 mph on Thursday. Running in the Spirit of Qatar boat, Villwock said he took the turn too tight and went airborne momentarily after getting caught in the rooster tail of J. Michael Kelly.

"There just wasn't enough room, that's all," Villwock said. "I tried to turn the boat and it caught the tail and sucked me into his (rooster) tail."

Villwock's boat was damaged and the crew had about 45 minutes to replace the turbine engine, rear wing and supports, and the gear box before the next heat. The veteran driver promptly went out and handily beat the competition in that heat.

Even though Villwock's chances of winning the national high points championship were gone, the win in Qatar tied him with legendary driver Bill Muncey's 62 career race wins.

Also garnering a heat victory was J. Michael Kelly in U-7 Graham Trucking, the defending Oryx champion.

Villwock came from behind in the thrilling final to win the Oryx UIM World Championship Saturday and tie Muncey's all-time career victories.

"Villwock now has 62 career wins to match Muncey, whose record had stood unchallenged for 30 years. The veteran driver from Auburn, Wash., overcame a rough weekend that included a spinout in the weekend's first heat that cost him a chance at a national championship. The Oh Boy! Oberto team led by driver Steve David secured its third consecutive national championship before Saturday's final.

"It's a privilege to be in the same group as Bill Muncey and Chip Hanauer," said Villwock, who has been racing boats since age 16. talked to Bill when I was a little kid and he's always been a hero of mine."

Villwock went into the finals with an outside lane position and after the start found himself in fourth place trailing Steve David. But David, who had a strong weekend winning three heats, suffered a steering problem and dropped back in the pack. It would take all of Villwock's driving skills to chase down J Michael Kelly but late on the third lap he did it and rode it to the historic win.

After securing the national points championship in the last heat, David was looking to get his first race victory overseas. But running close to 170 mph in a straightaway, the steering quadrant slipped and he had to slow down dramatically to keep it under control.

"We wanted a sizeable lead going into the final just for that reason," said David of Lighthouse Point, Fla. "Congratulations to Dave Villwock and the Qatar guys, they certainly earned that win."

Leading up to the final race, 2009 Oryx Cup winner Kelly was quietly putting together one of his best weekends of the season. He won three heats over the past two days in the Graham Trucking boat, a win total that was matched only by Oh Boy! Oberto's David.

After a violent spinout during Friday's action, it looked like Villwock's chances at winning the Oryx Cup might be dashed. But the crew worked quickly to replace the turbine engine, a gear box and the rear wings and supports that were damaged in the incident. The crew spent the night working on the turbine engines that gave him the victory in the final race.

"We had a tough weekend all around," Villwock said. "But we sat down and said we've won races from lane four before. I won my first race ever from lane four in San Diego and here I match Bill Muncey's record today from lane four."

Muncey died in 1981 in a blowover accident in his Atlas Van Lines during the World Championship race in Acapulco, Mexico. Seattle area driver Chip Hanauer had 61 career race victories but retired before he could break Muncey's mark.

"I want to congratulate Dave Villwock on reaching such as milestone," H1 Unlimited chairman Sam Cole. "It's a fitting tribute to Bill Muncey that Dave would win a UIM Championship outside of the United States."

This is the second year that H1 Unlimited has raced in Doha, Qatar. Ten teams qualified for the UIM World Championship event after five races in the United States.

"I want to thank His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation for being gracious hosts," Cole said. "We love racing in Doha and we are looking forward to returning next year."

Oryx Cup UIM World Championship
November 18-20
Doha, Qatar
2-mile course in Doha Harbor
No. Entry Driver Qualifying Position Speed Heat Finishes Points
U-96 Spirit of Qatar Dave Villwock (!) 144.051 DNF 1 1 2 1 1600
U-7 Graham Trucking J Michael Kelly (4) 137.891 1 2 1 1 2 1860
U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto Steve David (2) 140.399 1 1 2 1 3 1805
U-5 Formulaboats.com Jeff Bernard (3) 138.795 2 2 2 2 4 1439
U-21 Go Fast, Turn Left Racing Brian Perkins (8) 128.617 4 4 3 3 5 945
U-22 Great Scott! Mike Webster (10) 120.856 5 5 4 5 6 645
U-37 Miss Peters & May J.W. Myers (9) 125.825 3 3 3 4 7 945
U-25 Superior/Spirit of Detroit Ken Muscatel (7) 133.091 4 DNF 4 3 - 593
U-17 Our Gang Racing Kip Brown (5) 136.348 2 DNS DNF - - 300
U-100 Leland Unlimited Greg Hopp (6) 134.539 3 3 DSQ DNF - 90


[Reprinted from Thunderboat, Jan-Feb 2011]