Detroit: Round four preview

100th Running Of Gold Cup Should Truly Be The Race Of The Century DETROIT--When the 10 boats on the ABRA unlimited hydroplane circuit arrive in Detroit this weekend (July 11-13), the 100th running of the Chrysler-Jeep Detroit APBA Gold Cup ...

100th Running Of Gold Cup Should Truly Be The Race Of The Century

DETROIT--When the 10 boats on the ABRA unlimited hydroplane circuit arrive in Detroit this weekend (July 11-13), the 100th running of the Chrysler-Jeep Detroit APBA Gold Cup promises to be the most competitive event in the century long racing tradition.

Two boats, the Miss Beacon Plumbing driven by Jean Theoret (Maple Grove, Que.) and the U-5 Formulaboats.com driven by Jeff Bernard (Kent, Wash.), have won the first two races of the 2008 season while the Oh Boy! Oberto piloted by Steve David (Lighthouse Pt., Fla.) has been the top qualifier for each event.

"The competition has never been this close," said Theoret, winner of the 2006 Gold Cup race on the Detroit River. "This is like Formula One racing where each team is just seconds apart. But they race on a flat (asphalt) course that never changes and we race on a course where the water moves the surface each and every lap.

"So for us, to be just seconds apart is amazing."

In the first race in Evansville two weeks ago, six different teams won the six different elimination heats. The first time in the history of the sport this has happened with a flying start. Theoret captured the Thunder on the Ohio winner take all final that Sunday afternoon.

"Any one of six or seven teams can win this race," said the 23-year old Bernard, winner of the Indiana Governor's Cup in Madison this past Sunday. "This is a strong group of boats and drivers."

But the Gold Cup race is truly special for all the drivers.

"Winning the Gold Cup was the biggest moment of my boat racing career," said Theoret. "It was truly a special moment for me and I just wish every driver could have that same feeling I had when I won the Gold Cup."

"One thing that makes the Gold Cup special is that you have to race more miles than any other race," said Bernard. "That makes it tougher on the driver and the equipment."

The unlimited hydroplanes will run one set of three lap elimination heats on Saturday with two set of eliminations heats and a winner take all final on Sunday. All Sunday heats will be five laps on the 2 ½ mile Detroit River course.

The boats will start to arrive in Detroit on Wednesday with qualifying testing starting Friday at 8 a.m.

For ticket and more information on the event, please go to www.gold-cup.com/

OLDEST MOTORPSORTS TROPHY OF THEM ALL: The Gold Cup is the oldest active motorsport's trophy in the world. The APBA Gold Cup is to power boat racing what the Super Bowl is to football, what the World Series is to baseball and what the Indianapolis 500 is to automobile racing. Officially known as the "American Power Boat Association Challenge Cup," it is the ultimate prize in the sport of boat racing. The very first Gold Cup race took place in June 1904 on the Hudson River in New York. The winning boat, the STANDARD, owned and driven by Carl Riotte, averaged just over 23 miles per hour.

OF THE 10: Only one driver of the 10 competing in this weekend's Gold Cup race has won the event. Jean Theoret won the race here in Detroit in 2006. He is the only French-Canadian driver to have won the coveted trophy.

U-10 HAS NEW SPONSOR FOR DETROIT: This year in Detroit the U-10 will race as the Miss Dover Environmental, a Fraser, Mich. company. The boat driven by David Bryant (Mesa, Ariz.) is expected to challenge for the championship, having won the race in 2004, as Miss DYC with Nate Brown at the wheel.

U-13 WILL RACE FOR THE GOLD CUP: The U-13 Miss Detroit Yacht Club/Spirit of Detroit did not race in Madison after suffering damage in the final heat of the Thunder on the Ohio two weeks ago in Evansville. But the boat has been repaired and will be ready to go this week. The boat his debris in the Ohio River, throwing a prop and creating damage to the bottom the boat. Owner Dave Bartush brought the boat to Detroit immediately to be repaired for this week's race.

THE CHRYSLER JEEP APBA GOLD CUP FLEET

U-3 Miss Chrysler Jeep, Driver Jimmy King, Owner Ed Cooper

U-5 Formulaboats.com, Driver Jeff Bernard, Owner The Ted Porter Family

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto, Driver Steve David, Owner The City of Madison, Indiana

U-7 Formulaboats.com, Driver Mike Allen, Owner The Ted Porter Family

U-10 Miss Dover Environmental, Driver David Bryant, Owners Kim and Debbie Gregory

U-13 Miss Detroit Yacht Club/Spirit of Detroit, Driver J. Michael Kelly, Owner Dave Bartush

U-25 Jarvis Fire and Water Repair, Driver and Owner Dr. Ken Muscatel

U-37 Miss Beacon Plumbing, Driver Jean Theoret, Owners Billy and Jane Schumacher

U-50    Michigan Mortgage Presents Spirit of the Navy, Driver David
Williams and Brian Perkins, Owner  Greg O'Farrell

U-100 Mirageboats.com, Driver Greg Hopp, Owner Fred Leland

-credit: abra

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Series Boat
Drivers Mike Allen
Teams Williams