Dave Villwock's chances of capturing the national high-points championship took a big hit Friday when his boat spun out during a heat race at the Oryx Cup unlimited hydroplane race in Doha, Qatar.
DOHA, Qatar — Dave Villwock’s chances of capturing the national high-points championship took a big hit Friday when his boat spun out during a heat race at the Oryx Cup UIM Championship.
Villwock of Auburn was not injured in the incident but saw tour leader Steve David extend his points lead to 566 going entering Saturday’s last two heats and the final. Barring a major mishap, David and the Oh Boy! Oberto team will win their third consecutive championship.
Villwock had the inside lane going into Turn 4, then was unable to hold it and crossed into the rooster tail of another boat. He went airborne momentarily before coming to a stop.
“I tried to turn the boat, caught the (rooster) tail and it sucked me in,” Villwock said, later adding, “All we can do after that problem is just to race as hard as we can.”
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The crew had about 45 minutes to repair Villwock’s boat, replacing the turbine engine, gear box and the rear wing and supports that were damaged in the accident. The repairs were good enough to give Villwock an easy win in the heat.
David looked strong in both of his heats, breezing to easy wins even with one of starts in an outside lane. Oh Boy! Oberto is going to run conservatively, David said, in the next two heats to lock up the points championship.
“I was doing well last year and then I blew it over in a heat,” said David of the race on Doha Bay.
J Michael Kelly of Puyallup won the day’s other heat, in which Villwock’s boat spun out.
If Villwock is able to make the final race and pull out a victory, he would tie legendary driver Bill Muncey 62 career race victories.
Gregg Mansfield contributed to this article.