DOHA 2013: See David wins Unlimited Hydroplane Title - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DOHA 2013: Steve David wins Unlimited Hydroplane National High Points Title

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From Schumacher Racing:

DOHA (Qatar), Jan 10, 2013-- Florida's Steve David claimed the 2012 H1 Unlimited National High Points Championship during a dramatic afternoon's racing at the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship on Doha Bay on Thursday afternoon.

The threat of strong winds over the weekend forced race organizers to transform the timetable for the final round of the 2012 Air National Guard H1 Unlimited Championship. H1 Unlimited and Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) officials sensibly decided to completely amend the schedule and the majority of the on-course action took place on Thursday. After a permitted testing slot on the Doha Bay course off the Doha Corniche, crews carried out their qualifying session on Thursday morning and heats one, two and three took place on Thursday afternoon.

U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto's Steve David had come into the Oryx Cup weekend leading the National High Points championship by 652 points from U-1 Spirit of Qatar's Dave Villwock but the U-1 driver reduced David's lead to 632 points by setting the fastest time in qualifying on Thursday morning.

But a dramatic Villwock disqualification from victory in Heat 1-A for a fuel flow violation and a win for David in Heat 1B pushed the latter into a 1012-point advantage heading into the second heats. The duo were drawn apart again in those three-lap races and David had one hand firmly on the trophy when Villwock was disqualified from Heat 2-A for hitting several turn buoys that left the U-1 boat with a damaged front wing and a devastated Villwock's chances of reaching the Oryx Cup final hanging by a thread.

David sealed the coup de grace in Heat 2-B by finishing first overall and that gave him an unassailable advantage in the National High Points standings, as Villwock's attention turned to trying to qualify for the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship final shoot-out over the weekend. Steve David and Jimmy Shane won Heats 3-A and 3-B in failing light, but Villwock was unable to start the third heat.

"The National High Points Championship means a lot to me and it is a great feeling to win it back whatever the circumstances," said David. "A win is a win."

"Congratulations to Steve David and his team on the championship title here," said His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, president of the QMSF. "We have had a thrilling day's racing and, as long as the weather is kind to us, we can look forward to two more exciting heats on Friday and the Oryx Cup final on Saturday afternoon."

Heats 1A and 1B
Jimmy Shane made the best start in Heat 1-A and looked to have the race in his hand after the first few turns, but Villwock began to reel him in as the race progressed. The U-1 Spirit of Qatar driver seized his opportunity to storm through and take the lead, with Jon Zimmerman, Kip Brown and J. Michael Kelly following in their rooster tails. Race officials deemed that Shane had jumped the start and the No. 5 driver was forced to run an extra lap, his problems promoting Zimmerman to second position. But Villwock and Brown were dramatically disqualified from the heat for fuel flow violations and Zimmerman confirmed his first ever heat win.

In an almost carbon copy of Heat 1-A, Brian Perkins appeared to have jumped the flying start of Heat 1-B and held the lead from Steve David through turns one-and-two, but it was not long before the Florida driver seized his opportunity to overtake and began to pull away into the distance, as Ryan Mallow, Tom Thompson and Mark Evans began to lose ground. David surged through his third lap to take the checkered flag and 400 valuable points and Perkins's jump start was still under review when he crossed the line in second and ran an extra lap for good measure. It was decided he had in fact jumped the start and was demoted to fifth. "I take nothing for granted as for the High Points Championship is concerned," said David after Villwock's disqualification gave him one hand on the title.

Heats 2A and 2B
The wind turned from a north-westerly direction and gathered strength for the start of the second heats and Brian Perkins made a legal start and edged clear of Kip Brown and Tom Thompson. Dave Villwock languished in fourth position and it came to light that he had clipped a turn buoy, as Perkins, Brown and Thompson headed off into the distance.

The U-1 driver was clearly not settled and, as Perkins took the checkered flag and the 400 points, Villwock clipped a turn buoy again on his extra lap, damaged the front wing and was disqualified from the heat, the outcome meaning he faced an uphill struggle to qualify for the Oryx Cup final. Brown was later disqualified for a fuel violation and Thompson duly finished second. "This could be the first time we have never made a final," said an incredulous Erik Ellstrom of Ellstrom Racing and the U-1 Spirit of Qatar team.

Heat 2B started after a delay to replace a course buoy and the wind had abated as J. Michael Kelly held off Steve David and Jimmy Shane in hazy, low sunlight. David and Shane found their way through after the first turn and began to pull away from Kelly, Jon Zimmerman and a distant Ryan Mallow. The wind began to strengthen again as Shane stayed on David's rooster tail, but there was no stopping the Florida driver from taking another 400-point haul, as Shane, Zimmerman, Kelly and Mallow reached the checkered flag in his wake.

Heats 3A and 3B
Dave Villwock was unable to repair canard and steering cables on the U-1 in time to take the start of Heat 3-A and Steve David made a legal start to lead from Kip Brown, J. Michael Kelly and Mark Evans. With the backdrop of the setting sun, the Florida driver extended his lead over the next two laps to confirm a third heat win of the day, with Brown and Kelly finishing second and third. Evans pulled out after lap one and returned to the pits.

In failing light and a chilly breeze, Jimmy Shane and Brian Perkins fought a tooth and nail battle to win the final heat and Shane prevailed by a couple of rooster tails, with Perkins and Jon Zimmerman following him to the finish. Tom Thompson languished at the back of the field and came home fourth after Mallow was forced out midway.

The final timetable for Friday and Saturday will be weather dependent, with heats 4-A and 4-B and the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship set to be scheduled over the next two days assuming that the strong winds forecast to hit Doha Bay are not too severe.

Oryx Cup - UIM World Championship – H1 Unlimited Heats

1. No. 9 Jon Zimmerman/Jones Racing-400 points
2. No. 5 Jimmy Shane/Graham Trucking-300 points
3. No.37 J. Michael Kelly/Miss Beacon Plumbing-225 points
U-17 Kip Brown/Miss Red Dot-DSQ
U-1 Dave Villwock/Spirit of Qatar-DSQ

1. U-6 Steve David/Oh Boy! Oberto-400 points
2. U-11 Tom Thompson/Unlimited Racing Group-300 points
3. U-100 Ryan Mallow/Miss Fox Plumbing-225 points
4. U-57 Mark Evans/ points
5. No.88 Brian Perkins/Snoqualmie Casino-127 points

1.No. 88 Brian Perkins/Snoqualmie Casino-400 points
2. U-11 Tom Thompson/Unlimited Racing Group-300 points
U-1 Dave Villwock/Spirit of Qatar-DSQ
U-17 Kip Brown/Miss Red Dot-DSQ
U-57 Mark

1. U-6 Steve David/Oh Boy! Oberto-400 points
2. No. 5 Jimmy Shane/Graham Trucking-300 points
3. No. 9 Jon Zimmerman/Jones Racing-225 points
4. No.37 J. Michael Kelly/Miss Beacon Plumbing-169 points
5. U-100 Ryan Mallow/Miss Fox Plumbing-127 points

1.U-6 Steve David/Oh Boy! Oberto-400 points
2. U-17 Kip Brown/Miss Red Dot-300 points
3. No. 37 J. Michael Kelly/Miss Beacon Plumbing-225 points
U-57 Mark Evans/
U-1 Dave Villwock/Spirit of Qatar-DNS