Dave 1Schumacher Racing announced today that the team’s return to competition at the HAPO Columbia Cup in the Tri-Cities July 25 – 27 will also mark the return of Dave Villwock to the driver’s seat of an Unlimited Hydroplane.

Villwock joined Schumacher Racing during the 2013 season as a consultant and became the team manager.  This followed a driving career that produced 67 wins, the most by any driver in the history of the sport, including 10 National Championships and 10 Gold Cup victories.

Team owner Billy Schumacher explained, “In the past year, a lot of people have asked me how it made sense to have the best driver in the history of the sport as a backup driver.  Why not put him in the boat?’

Dave Villwock

Dave Villwock

“One of those people was our sponsor, Bill Cahill of Beacon Plumbing,” added Schumacher. “So we approached Dave with the idea of returning to driving and we are very happy that he is willing. We have made dramatic changes to the boat and having Dave experience the boat ride will speed up the tuning process.”

Villwock agreed saying, “We will really be developing a new boat with all the changes we made and this should allow us to get it up to speed as quickly as possible.”

Asked how he expects the rebuilt 37 Beacon Plumbing to compare to the boats he drove during his record setting career, Villwock responded, “We think we have it pretty close.  There are some differences and some things that will need tweaking once we have seen it on the water, but we think we are going the right direction with the boat.”

Plans are for Scott Liddycoat to get some time in the boat at the Columbia Cup as well and get the necessary laps in competition to renew his unlimited license.  The team’s plans do not go beyond the Seattle race a week later at this point.

Regarding rumors of an ownership change, Schumacher explained, “It’s no secret that Bill (Cahill) has wanted to become an owner in the sport and it’s something we have talked about for a long time.  He has loved Unlimited Hydroplane racing all his life and it makes a lot of sense for him to become an owner. I think he’ll make a great one.  We are moving things in that direction and the time for the change is getting closer.”

Schumacher, himself a former Gold Cup and National Champion, said his  plans for the future include  “a lot of fishing out on Puget Sound.”