U-96 Spirit of Qatar
Dave Villwock began his quest Friday to become the sport’s all-time winningest driver by posting the fastest qualifying speed Friday during the Air National Guard Series at the Madison Regatta.
Villwock ran 142.710 mph in the Spirit of Qatar during his session on the Ohio River. He edged Madison favorite Steve David who turned a 141.813 mph lap in Oh Boy! Oberto.
The Seattle-based Villwock is hoping to pass legendary driver Bill Muncey to become unlimited hydroplane’s winningest driver. He’s currently tied with Muncey with 62 career wins. Muncey’s record has stood since 1981.
“We wanted to do the best we could, get to the show and race from there,” Villwock said.
David, who is seeking his fourth consecutive high points championship, kept pushing his boat but couldn’t match Villwock’s speed on the 1¾-mile course. The course is ¾-mile shorter this year than past years because of bridge construction on the Ohio River.
“We would have liked to get the top qualifying speed but it’s a long weekend of racing,” David said. “You don’t win the Governor’s Cup on Friday. But you can lose it if you have an accident.”
The third-fastest qualifier was Kip Brown in Miss Red Dot at 138.224 mph and tour newcomer Scott Liddycoat in Valken Sports was the fourth-fastest qualifier at 135.338 mph.
The racing continues today with three sets of heat followed by more heat action on Sunday at the final at 4:20 p.m.
All of the heats and the final will be streamed live on www.h1unlimited.com.