HPROP: Detroit Gold Cup preview

Unlimited Hydroplanes Travel to Detroit, Mich. for APBA Gold Cup Chrysler-Jeep Superstores APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup Crown Jewel of Series Non-Turbine Powered Unlimited Seeks APBA Gold Cup Victory; USA Racing Campaigns Two Hulls (Detroit, Mich.)...

Unlimited Hydroplanes Travel to Detroit, Mich. for APBA Gold Cup
Chrysler-Jeep Superstores APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup Crown Jewel of Series
Non-Turbine Powered Unlimited Seeks APBA Gold Cup Victory; USA Racing Campaigns Two Hulls

(Detroit, Mich.) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series presented by Boat Shopper® magazine continues next weekend (August 22-24) on the Detroit River at the Chrysler-Jeep Superstores APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup. Rescheduled from a June date, the crown jewel of Unlimited Hydroplane racing will test all drivers' skills and equipment on the rough and fast Detroit River. The APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup, which dates back to 1904, is the oldest active motorsports trophy in the world.

"Tom D'Eath and the Detroit River Regatta Association should be congratulated on their efforts to produce this year's APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup race," said Bart Garbrecht, CEO of Hydro-Prop. "The Detroit APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup has a long and storied tradition in boat racing and to all the teams it is the most important race of the season. The list of Unlimited drivers who can claim ownership of the APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup is extremely impressive and in fact includes D'Eath, a three-time victor."

"This year's race should not disappoint the fans because we are expecting a full field of talented professional Unlimited teams," continued Garbrecht. "This season we have witnessed competitive and action packed racing in the preliminary heats and in the finals. To date, nine different Unlimited drivers have won heats and most of the qualifying speeds are within a couple of miles per hour of each other. Though, with the Detroit River, anything is possible as the river sometimes can dictate the outcome. The driver that is able to withstand the river and the pressure to win the Gold Cup will have definitely deserved the victory. As evidenced with the increased competition, there are a number of drivers that are capable of winning which should make this year's battle thrilling to watch."

* Full Field Awaits Detroit River A number of talented professional boat racers will compete for the APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup at Detroit including, Dave Villwock, Terry Troxell, Mitch Evans, Steve David, Mark Evans, Michael Hanson, Mike Weber, Mark Weber, Nate Brown, Dr. Ken Muscatel and JW Myers.

* Action Packed Weekend on Detroit River Planned In addition to the APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup Unlimited Hydroplane race, the Chrysler-Jeep APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup weekend program will include vintage and historic raceboats, jersey speed skiffs and extreme water sports exhibitions. A Motown Sweepstakes Free-for-all race is also planned for any racing Unlimiteds between 17 and 27 feet long.

* Non-Turbine Powered APBA Gold Cup Champion a Possibility This Year Mitch Evans and the U-3 Vacationville.com will attempt to become the first non-turbine powered Unlimited Hydroplane to win the APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup since 1983 when Chip Hanauer was victorious aboard the Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered Atlas Van Lines. An Evans victory would end the twenty-year drought of a non-turbine powered Gold Cup victor. Evans has been competitive all year typically qualifying in the top five. He won the season opening event in Evansville and has secured four preliminary heat wins.

* Local Unlimited Driver Seeks Victory Mike Weber, a St. Clair Shores, Mich. native currently living in Dawsonville, GA, seeks his first career victory as an Unlimited Hydroplane driver. Weber, the pilot of the U-10 Miss Detroit Yacht Club presented by Greektown Casino, will have added support from family and friends as he attempts to tame the rough Detroit River. "Winning the Gold Cup in front of my family would be a terrific accomplishment," said Weber. "Winning my first career race will be very exciting, but doing it at home on the river that I grew up on would be something very special. This team has been waiting for this opportunity and I believe we have a legitimate chance to raise the Gold Cup on Sunday afternoon in Detroit."

* USA Racing to Campaign Two Boats at Detroit Kim Gregory, owner of USA Racing Partners, has decided to campaign two Unlimited hulls in an attempt to secure his first career APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup. Mike Weber, who pilots the U-10 Miss Detroit Yacht Club presents Greektown Casino, will be joined by a familiar face when his brother, Mark, pilots the U-11 Miss Chrysler Jeep. Mark, a veteran Unlimited driver with two career wins, will come out of a two-year retirement to race in front of his hometown fans in Detroit. Mark has driven for USA Racing Partners in the past and in fact finished second in the championship three years in a row (1999-2001) with the team.

* Michael Hanson Seeks Repeat of Thrilling 2001 Gold Cup Victory Michael Hanson and the U-9 Jones Racing had a career day in 2001 at Detroit when they surprised everyone and won the Gold Cup. Hanson was the second fastest qualifier and won two preliminary heats. The victory marked the first career win for Mike and Lori Jones, owners of the U-9.

* Last Year at Detroit Dave Villwock won his fifth career APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup and 14th for the Miss Budweiser. Terry Troxell finished second, which was his third consecutive second place finish to start the 2002 season. Michael Hanson rounded out the podium in third.

* O'Doul's High Points World Championship Standings Dave Villwock and the Miss Budweiser currently lead the O'Doul's High Points World Championship as the series heads to Detroit. Villwock (535 points) has a 91-point lead over his closest pursuer, Mark Evans (444). But with a maximum of 170 points available at Detroit, a strong performance from Evans could close the gap between the two drivers. Mike Weber (433 points) is also close behind and could pose a threat to the leaders. Terry Troxell (358 points) and Michael Hanson (356 points) round out the top five.

Practice and qualifying will begin for the Chrysler-Jeep Superstores APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup Friday, August 22 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, August 24. The Chrysler-Jeep Superstores APBA/Hydro-Prop Gold Cup race will be televised on SPEED Channel on Sunday, September 14 at 2:00 PM (EDT).

Headquartered in Lake Hamilton, Fla., HYDRO-PROP owns and operates the Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series Presented by Boat Shopper® magazine. Unlimited Hydroplanes are the most dramatic, exciting, and spectacular racing vehicles in the world. They are the largest and fastest racing boats reaching top speeds of 220 miles per hour and can cover the length of a football field in less than one second. HYDRO-PROP events are held throughout North America and are televised during prime time on SPEED Channel. SPEED Channel is the fastest growing sports network in America and is recognized as America's motorsports leader. For more information on HYDRO-PROP, visit www.hydroprop.com

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Series Boat
Drivers Mitch Evans