HPROP: Gold Cup: Detroit preview

Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series visits Detroit. Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup July 11-14. (Detroit, Mich.) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series will compete next weekend (July 11-14) on the Detroit River at the...

Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series visits Detroit.
Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup July 11-14.

(Detroit, Mich.) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series will compete next weekend (July 11-14) on the Detroit River at the Chrysler Jeep Superstores APBA Gold Cup. Considered the crown jewel for powerboat racers, the APBA Gold Cup, which dates back to 1904, is the oldest active motorsports trophy in the world.

The APBA Gold Cup has been known to define the greatest Unlimited drivers of all-time. The legendary Bill Muncey won eight APBA Gold Cups and Chip Hanauer won an unprecedented 11 APBA Gold Cups. In addition, Miss Budweiser team owner Bernie Little has 13 APBA Gold Cups to his credit.

"Detroit and Unlimited Hydroplane racing have a tremendous history," said Gary Garbrecht, chairman of Hydro-Prop. "The Detroit River is more than just a venue, but a tradition that has created some of the best racing this sport has witnessed. These drivers are faced with many obstacles and challenges during the four-day weekend of racing including the rough waters and strong current of the Detroit River. 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 last season from the increased competition, there are a number of drivers that are capable of winning which should make this years' battle very exciting to watch."

In addition to the Unlimited Hydroplanes, many other powerboat races will highlight the Spirit of Detroit Thunderfestival including, Jersey Speed Skiffs, Inflatables and Vintage boats.

Practice and qualifying for the Unlimited Hydroplanes will begin on Thursday, July 11 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, July 14. The Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday, August 10 at 12:00 PM (EDT).

* Defending APBA Gold Cup Champion Michael Hanson
Michael Hanson returns to the Detroit River as the defending APBA Gold Cup Champion after winning a thrilling battle on the rough waters last season. Hanson secured his first career APBA Gold Cup and won the first career race for team owners Mike and Lori Jones. "Since the beginning of the year, I have been looking forward to returning to Detroit as the defending champion," said Hanson. "Last year was very special for myself, Mike and Lori and the entire team. The Detroit River is always ready and willing to test each driver with many obstacles. This year will be no different and we must be prepared for all four heats and the final."

* Expected Entries 2Reigning APBA Gold Cup champion Michael Hanson will be in Detroit to defend his APBA Gold Cup. Challenging Hanson will be defending series champion Dave Villwock, Mark Tate, Mitch Evans, Steve David, Mike Weber, Jimmy King, Ken Muscatel, Nate Brown, Terry Troxell and Greg Hopp.

* Local Drivers Aim for Ultimate Goal
Mark Tate, Canton, Mich., Jimmy King, Richmond, Mich. and Mike Weber, a Detroit, Mich. native currently living in Dawsonville, GA. will have added support from family and friends as they compete on the Detroit River. Having all been raised in Michigan, the Detroit APBA Gold Cup race has sentimental meaning to all the drivers. "There would be nothing better than to win another Gold Cup here in Detroit," said Tate, who has two career APBA Gold Cup victories. "Winning the Gold Cup is similar to winning any major sporting championship but winning it in my hometown can't compare to anything. I returned to Unlimited racing for a variety of reasons, one of which was to challenge for the Gold Cup."

* Former APBA Gold Champion Returns to Detroit
Chip Hanauer, an 11-time APBA Gold Cup Champion, will return to Detroit for the Gold Cup but not to compete in the Unlimiteds. Hanauer and Trent Ling are the television broadcasters for all the Unlimited Hydroplane races that are shown on ESPN2.

*       History on the Detroit River

o Since 1916, the Detroit River has been the scene for volumes of Gold Cup history
o 1922: 80 years ago, Jesse G. Vincent won as the owner and driver of Packard ChrisCraft
o 1946: 56 years ago, bandleader Guy Lombardo drove his Tempo VI to victory in the first post-war Gold Cup
o 1950: 52 years ago, the face of powerboat racing changed drastically when the APBA announced that the winning boat would defend the Gold Cup the following year in the boat's hometown. That year, Ted Jones drove Slo-Mo-Shun IV to victory, taking the Gold Cup from Detroit to Seattle
o 1956: 46 years ago, Bill Muncey won his first Gold Cup in Miss Thriftway
o 1963: 39 years ago, Ron Musson won his first of three consecutive Gold Cups in Detroit in the Miss Bardahl
o 1982: 20 years ago, Chip Hanauer won his first of seven consecutive Gold Cups driving for Fran Muncey
o 1991: 11 years ago, Mark Tate won his first Gold Cup driving the Winston Eagle
o 1997: 5 years ago, Dave Villwock won his second Gold Cup but first as the driver of Miss Budweiser
*       Chrysler Jeep APBA Gold Cup Historical Facts

o The first APBA Gold Cup was awarded in 1904 in New York to C.C. Riotte
o First Detroit entry to win the Gold Cup - Miss Detroit driven by J. Milot and J. Beebe in 1915
o Detroit's first Unlimited race was in 1916
o Local Detroit boat racer Gar Wood won the Gold Cup five straight times - 1917-1921
o Chip Hanauer has won 11 APBA Gold Cups including seven straight - 1982-1988
o Bernie Little's Miss Budweiser has won 13 APBA Gold Cups
o Dave Villwock is a four-time APBA Gold Cup Champion
o Team Owner Fred Leland has won two Gold Cups

Headquartered in Lake Hamilton, Fla., HYDRO-PROP combines Unlimited Hydroplanes, the biggest, fastest racing boats in the world, with Formula One, the most versatile, fastest accelerating and fastest turning boats in the world. HYDRO-PROP events are held throughout North America and are the only forms of Professional Powerboat Racing televised on ESPN2. For more information on HYDRO-PROP, visit www.hydroprop.com


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Series Boat
Drivers Mitch Evans