Villwock 'Idles' Way to 7th Gold Cup Unlimited Hydroplane Win DETROIT--One could say Dave Villwock idled his way to a seventh career Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup victory Sunday on the Detroit River. Instead of traveling in...
Villwock 'Idles' Way to 7th Gold Cup Unlimited Hydroplane Win
DETROIT--One could say Dave Villwock idled his way to a seventh career Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup victory Sunday on the Detroit River.
Instead of traveling in speeds of excess of 200 mph, Villwock, driver of the U-16 Miss Ellstrom Elam Plus, was in position to win the race at speeds less than 10 mph.
With the on-plane and lane assignment rules thrown out the window for the weekend's race, Villwock took advantage of freedom to go at any speed and all but shut off the turbine engine upon leaving the pit and camped out on the course's first turn. As the other four boats spent time jockeying for lanes, Villwock puttered around hoping to secure the coveted first lane position.
And that is just what happened as Villwock didn't even make a complete practice lap before the green flag was waved.
"We threw them a change up," an elated Villwock said after winning his seventh Gold Cup. "We knew we were dancing with the devil on this one. The boat was set up for the first lane. It is the 100th running of the Gold Cup. We knew we would either win big or lose big."
And it was win big that worked for Villwock. Earlier in the weekend, Villwock and his Ellstrom team waited for the other crews to leave the pit area. Then once the coast was clear, the team set the boat up to run slow while keeping the engine running.
"We are use to throwing heaters at them," Villwock said. "This was different. I could see the other drivers pass by me thinking 'what is he doing?'"
Before Villwock won 'the race before the race' or the race to lane one, fans up and down the Detroit River knew the final heat would be a two boat showdown. Throughout the entire weekend, Villwock and Steve David in the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto had dominated nearly every elimination heat.
Even David was impressed with Villwock's slow feat.
"I could see him idle and I said 'I don't think he could idle that long,'" David said after the loss.
But much to David's chagrin, Villwock held on and the rest was history.
Going into the final heat, David thought this year would be his first Gold Cup victory. But thanks to Villwock's slow start, David was once again the bridesmaid and owner of the second place trophy.
"This win feels good," Villwock said. "You can only win the 100th running once. We didn't want to leave anything on the table."
David, who was pushed out to the second lane, finished second.
Running in third was Jeff Bernard in the U-5 Formulaboats.com. Bernard edged out fellow teammate J Michael Kelly in the U-7 Graham Trucking boat. Rounding out the field was Greg Hopp in the U-100 Miss Jarvis Painting.