U-96 Spirit of Qatar
Driver Profile: TBA
Team Profile: Ellstrom Racing
The Ellstrom family–consisting of father Sven, sons Erick and Tom, and daughter Lisa–made its debut on the Unlimited racing scene as the sponsor of an experimental four-point hydroplane, owned by Glen Davis, in 1994. The next year, the family acquired a boat of its own and, under the leadership of crew chief Erick Ellstrom, the U-96 has racked up 20+ victories since 2000 and won the National High Point Team Championship in 2005, 2007 & 2011.
Despite a trio of first-place finishes in 2006, MISS E-LAM PLUS was unable to defend her High Points crown. However, with legendary driver Dave Villwock behind the wheel, the Ellstroms were determined to reclaim their spot atop the leaderboard in 2007. And they did.
The Ellstroms followed a reduced schedule in 2008 and only appeared at two races but still took first-place at their hometown Chevrolet Cup on Seattle’s Lake Washington.
In 2010, racing as the U-96 Spirit of Qatar, the team scored victories in the APBA Gold Cup in Detroit, the Air Guard Championship in San Diego and the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar on the way to strong second place finish in 2010 Season High Points.
The 2011 season showed the Ellstrom team back on top after a rocky beginning of the season in Madison, where Dave Villwock was involved in one of the most dramatic accidents in hydroplane history when the U-96 Spirit of Qatar spun out in the first turn and was broadsided by Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto, severely damaging both hulls, but fortunately resulting only in a couple broken ribs for David. With only five days until the start of the 2011 Gold Cup event in Detroit, the team worked around the clock to rebuild the boat, allowing Villwock to drive to what was probably the team’s most hard-fought victory ever. Two more wins in Tri-Cities and San Diego helped deliver the team’s third National High Point Team Championship.
The 2012 season had a disappointing finish as Villwock and the team arrived in Doha in a close race with the Oberto team but suffered a series of setbacks that dropped the team all the way to third place in the final standings for the season.
Damage to the boat put it on the beach for 2013, and the Ellstrom team began construction on a new 96 Spirit of Qatar which made its debut in 2014.
Behind The Roostertail
- Follow the Team:
- Boat Name: Spirit of Qatar
- Team Website: http://www.ellstromracing.com
- Owner: Marine Technologies
- Founded: 1994
- Home Port: Seattle, WA
- Driver: TBA
- Boat Colors: White/Silver/Orange
- Primary Sponsor: Qatar
- Associate Sponsors: 5 Axis Industries
- Crew Chief: Mike Hanson
Sven Ellstrom II
- Engine: Lycoming T-55/L-7 Turbine
- 2014 Boat Points: 2920
- 2014 Driver Points: 1050
- 2014 Season Finish: 8th
(1) 2000 – Tri-Cities, WA (Columbia Cup); driver-Mark Evans
(2) 2001 – Seattle, WA (General Motors Cup); driver-Nate Brown
(3) 2001 – San Diego, CA (Bill Muncey Cup); driver-Nate Brown
(4) 2002 – Madison, IN (Indiana Governor’s Cup); driver-Nate Brown
(5) 2002 – Tri-Cities, WA (Columbia Cup); driver-Nate Brown
(6) 2004 – St. Clair, MI (St. Clair International Trophy); driver-Terry Troxell
(7) 2005 – Madison, IN (Indiana Governor’s Cup); driver-J.W. Myers
(8) 2005 – Tri-Cities, WA (Columbia Cup); driver-Dave Villwock
(9) 2005 – San Diego, CA (Bill Muncey Cup); driver-Dave Villwock
(10) 2006 – Evansville, IN (Thunder On The Ohio); driver-Dave Villwock
(11) 2006 – Madison, IN (Indiana Governor’s Cup)
(12) 2006 – Tri-Cities, WA
(13) 2007 – Evansville, IN (Thunder on the Ohio)
(14) 2007 – Madison, IN (Indiana Governor’s Cup)
(15) 2007 – Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)
(16) 2007 – Tri-Cities, WA (Columbia Cup)
(17) 2008 Seattle, WA (Seafair)
(18) 2009 Madison, IN (Madison Regatta)
(19) 2009 Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)
(20) 2009 Seattle, WA (Seafair)
(21) 2010 Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)
(22) 2010 – San Diego, CA (Air Guard Championship
(23) 2010 – Doha, Qatar (Oryx Cup UIM World Championship)
(24) 2011 – Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)
(25) 2011 – Kennewick, WA (Lamb-Weston Columbia Cup)
(26) 2011 – San Diego, CA (Air National Guard Championship)
(27) 2012 – Madison, IN (Lucas Oil Madison Regatta)
(28) 2012 – Detroit, MI (APBA Gold Cup)