(San Diego, CA) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series heads to Mission Bay, California, this weekend for the San Diego Bayfair's Ralph's Food/4Less Bill Muncey Cup, the final event of the season. It is also a race where everyone has...
(San Diego, CA) - The Budweiser Unlimited Hydroplane Series heads to Mission Bay, California, this weekend for the San Diego Bayfair's Ralph's Food/4Less Bill Muncey Cup, the final event of the season. It is also a race where everyone has something to prove and will let it all hang-out.
PROP Formula One Tour Debuts with Unlimiteds
A main goal when HYDRO-PROP, Inc. was formed back in July was to combine both Unlimited hydroplane racing and PROP Formula One Tour racing at the same venue. Unlimited's and PROP Formula One boats have competed at San Diego jointly before, but this Bayfair will be the first time that they compete under the same organization, HYDRO-PROP, Inc. The Unlimited's will compete in the Ralph's/Food4Less Bill Muncey Cup, while the PROP Formula One boats will race in the Bowden Development Formula One Classic. HYDRO-PROP, Inc. President Gary Garbrecht hopes to combine the two series at all of the 2001 Unlimited events and will use the Bayfair as a benchmark for next season. "We are going to combine the biggest, fastest racing boats in the world (Unlimited hydroplanes) with the most versatile, fastest accelerating and fastest turning boats in the world (PROP F1 boats) in order to give our fans more entertainment and value," said Garbrecht.
Past San Diego Winners: Villwock, Evans, Tate & Hanson Look to Win
Over the past decade, Dave Villwock, N. Mark Evans, Mark Tate and Mike Hanson have all left San Diego holding the Bayfair trophy. Villwock has claimed four Bayfair's, Evans two, and Tate and Hanson have each won once. "San Diego is a favorite race site for many drivers and I know each one of us would love to win another Bayfair title," said Villwock.
Villwock and Miss Budweiser Clinch Championship
Dave Villwock and Miss Budweiser head to San Diego having already clinched team owner Bernie Little's 20th World Championship with their victory at Seattle. Villwock reeled off victories in Lake Havasu, AZ; Evansville, IN; Madison, IN; Detroit, MI and Seattle, WA, overcoming fuel restrictions at Evansville, Madison and Seattle.
Villwock has also clinched the O'Doul's National High Points Driver's Championship for the third consecutive year and fourth time in five years. Villwock and Miss Budweiser will face their toughest test in San Diego being fuel restricted to 3.9 gallons per minute (from 4.3 gallons per minute) as they look to extend their consecutive top qualifier streak to 28 races.
Weber Back in Seat after Flip in Seattle
Mark Weber will be back in the driver's seat when the U-10 York Heating & Air Conditioning hits Mission Bay. After a disappointing Seattle race, when Weber's boat was upside down on Lake Washington, he looks to get back on track. Weber has been impressive throughout the season and is currently in second place in championship points.
Hanson Ready to Pounce
Mike Hanson in the U-9 Strike Force has continually impressed everyone this year and is coming off a second place finish in Seattle. This was the highest finish for team owners Mike and Lori Jones. With one of Hanson's two career victories coming in San Diego, he will look to deliver the Jones' first victory.
Stratton Looks to Sew Up "Rookie of Year" Honors
George Stratton has definitely proven that Kim Gregory made a great choice in selecting him to drive USA Racing's U-5 Lowrey's Beef Jerky presents Jeronimo. Stratton is currently third in championship points and should wrap up the "Rookie of the Year" honors in San Diego. Stratton scored his first preliminary heat victory and delivered a third place finish at the APBA Gold Cup in Detroit. He then followed that up with a second place finish at Tri-Cities.
Tri-Cities Winner N. Mark Evans Looks to Win Again
After producing the first Unlimited hydroplane victory for the Ellstrom family in the U-16 Miss E-Lam Plus, N. Mark Evans strives to produce more successful results. "The first victory for a team owner is usually the hardest," said Evans. "But now they expect I can win each race and now I have the hardest job. Hopefully I can rely on my past success at San Diego, which includes two victories, to bring home the Ellstrom families second career win.
Brown and the U-6 Continue Beef Jerky Battle
Nate Brown in the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto Beef Jerky has his eyes focused on winning the Beef Jerky Battle. After finishing third and fourth at Tri-Cities and Seattle, respectively, he looks to defeat George Stratton in the U-5 Lowrey's Beef Jerky presents Jeronimo at San Diego. "I know Stratton will be ready to race and I expect it will be a thrilling competition," said Brown.
Leland's One-Two Punch of Hopp and Troxell Impressive
Team owner Fred Leland has a double entry with two talented drivers for the last race of the season. Greg Hopp will pilot the U-100 Miss Znetix and Terry Troxell will drive the U-99 Miss Znetix II. Both drivers are coming off successful races in the Northwest and are aiming to take home the ultimate prize of a first and second place finish. "After my flip in San Diego last year, I am really looking to get back to Mission Bay and bring home my first career victory," said Hopp. "We could really make Fred happy if we finished first and second."
Tate Hopes to End Season on High Note
Mark Tate and the U-2 Freddie's Club Casino have had a hot and cold season. They are either one of the fastest boats on the water and finish on the podium or are left scratching their heads after suffering boat damage or fuel restriction violations. "It has been a frustrating season for myself and the entire crew," said Tate. "We have consistently proven that we have a fast boat, but we continue to have set-backs which crush our momentum. Hopefully we can end the season on a high note with a victory at San Diego."
A Number of Challengers Look to Surprise the Field
Mitch Evans in the piston-powered U-3 Vacationville.com, Jimmy King in the U-8 LLumar Window Film and Dr. Ken Muscatel in the U-25 Miss Freei all look to contend at the season's final race. Each team has had moments of success but has consistently been on the outside looking in due to a variety of reasons. These teams will strive for a successful Bayfair in hopes of taking this new found confidence into the off-season.
Practice and qualifying will begin for San Diego's Bayfair Ralph's/Food 4 Less Bill Muncey Cup Friday, September 15 with the finals scheduled for Sunday, September 17.