2006 Gold Cup!
GOLD CUP FINAL ...
Final Heat Audio
1st ... U37 (Jean Theoret) 142.441
2nd ... U3 (Jimmy King) 139.370
3rd ... U6 (Steven David) 126.188
4th ... U1 (Nate Brown) 120.282
5th ... U2 (Ken Muscatel) 114.212
6th ... U7 (Mike Allen) 125.057 (lap penalty)
Canadian 1st non-American to win hydro Gold Cup since 1938 ...
By Eric Sharp ...
Detroit Free Press ...
DETROIT - It was 38 years ago that a young boat driver named Billy Schumacher won the Gold Cup unlimited hydroplane race on the Detroit River. Sunday a beaming boat owner Schumacher watched driver Jean Theoret pilot Miss Beacon Plumbing to victory in the 2006 Chrysler Jeep Gold Cup, becoming the third non-American to win.
"I believe in miracles, and I believe in this team," Theoret said, shrugging off suggestions that Miss Beacon's mechanics had somehow found new speed before he won the fourth qualifying heat and the Gold Cup final.
"We'd been hurt so much in the heats before, I guess the confidence goes away. And when the confidence goes away, you start to make mistakes, and you don't drive as well," he said.
Theoret, the 2005 rookie of the year from Maple Grove, Quebec, won at an average speed of 142.441 mph. Jimmy King of Memphis, Mich., finished second in Miss Chrysler Jeep, the only piston-powered boat in the 11-hydro fleet. Steve David of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was third in Oh Boy! Oberto.
Theoret was the next-to-lowest points accumulator in qualifying for the five-boat final at 4:05 p.m. He got penalties in all three of his qualifying heats, the four infractions ranging from destroying turn buoys to jumping the starting gun.
He was the first non-American to win since Italy's Count Theo Rossi won with Alagi in 1938. England's Kaye Don took the trophy in 1936 in Impshi. Guy Lombardo, the leader of the famed Royal Canadian big band of the 1940s, won with Tempo VI in 1946, but while he was born in Canada, he had become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
"I thought I had jumped the start and was going to be penalized again, but I guess I didn't," said Theoret, who ran most of the race minus the big engine cowling and rear stabilizer wing, which were blown off in the second lap. "I was coming down the back straight, and I saw this cowling in the water. I thought, `Hey, that's mine. It's red and yellow.' But the boat just drove beautifully."
That won hearty congratulations from runner-up King, who said, "I know whenever I've driven without a wing, it was really ugly. My hat's off to those guys. They put it together, and as disappointed as I am, I think they deserved it."
Schumacher, who drove Miss Bardahl to victory on the Detroit River in 1968 and Seattle the previous year, said, "I think Jean did a fantastic job of driving. He earned this race. No one had seen this boat run the way we knew it could until today. I won two as a driver, and I have to say I was far more nervous as an owner."
Asked what he brought to the team, Schumacher said, "If you ask my wife, I think she'll say a heck of a lot of money. But I think I have a little expertise in it, and when I see something I don't like, I can tell them."
David, the national champion driver last season, gave the other drivers a lesson Sunday in how to win heats with a slightly slower boat. He took his opening heat in Oh Boy! Oberto despite blowing a seal on the gearbox that had Oh Boy! trailing a thick plume of blue smoke like a 1963 Chevy with worn piston rings.
FormulaBoats.com, driven by Mike Weber, this year's points leader going into the Gold Cup, had a disastrous weekend. He was over early at the start in one heat Sunday and had to run an extra penalty lap.
David, who had started close behind in second place, shot by in Oh Boy! when Weber backed off to conserve the equipment in a heat he couldn't win, and David was never threatened by any of the other three boats in the heat.
In his second heat, David was squeezed out to an inauspicious start in Lane 3 with Weber in Lane 2 and Ken Muscatel in Lane 1.
But Muscatel's Michigan Mortgage Consultants lost power and nearly shut down coming around the Roostertail turn seconds before the start.
Weber once again found himself approaching the line too early and had to back off the throttle, while Oh Boy! Oberto hit the line at full speed and full throttle, and was able to stay slightly ahead through the first turn and along the back straight at 200 mph.
Then Weber hit some rough water as the two boats came through the Roostertail turn at about 140 mph and hopped into the air through the huge rooster tail of white water thrown up by David's boat.
Jet turbines don't like breathing in water, and by the time Weber got restarted and under way, David was a mile ahead and streaking toward victory for the second time that day.
The event finished without the usual boat flips and serious crashes. The worst incident came in the Gold Cup final when Weber's teammate, Mike Allen in FormulaBoats.com II, had a minor collision with Theoret in the final.
Allen also collided with Nate Brown's Elam when Allen was doing an extra lap for that earlier penalty.
HEAT 4B ...
1st ... U37 (Jean Theoret) 148.903
2nd ... U3 (Jimmy King) 144.935
3rd ... U7 (Mike Allen) 130.730
DNS ... U100 (Greg Hopp)
HEAT 4A ...
1st ... U6 (Steven David) 141.144
2nd ... U1 (Nate Brown) 128.837
3rd ... U2.25 (Ken Muscatel) 121.755
4th ... U21 (Kevin Aylesworth) 114.795
5th ... U5 (Mike Weber) 104.655
HEAT 3B ...
1st ... U6 (Steven David) 137.848
2nd ... U1 (Nate Brown) 128.185
3rd ... U2.25 (Ken Muscatel) 115.237
4th ... U21 (Kevin Aylesworth) 111.391
5th ... U5* (Mike Weber) 129.146
HEAT 3A ...
1st ... U7 (Mike Allen) 150.846
2nd ... U3 (Jimmy King) 147.868
3rd ... U37* (Jean Theoret) 129.139
DNF ... U100 (Greg Hopp)
DNF ... U10 (JW Myers)
* Lap Penalty
HEAT 2B ...
1st ... U3 (Jimmy King)148.838
2nd ... U7 (Mike Allen) 138.780
3rd ... U100 (Greg Hopp) 137.563
4th ... U6 (Steven David) 134.190
5th ... U1 (Nate Brown) 124.519
HEAT 2A ...
1st ... U10 (JW Myers) 136.183
2nd ... U2.25 (David Williams) 116.374
3rd ... U21 (Kevin Aylesworth) 108.513
4th ... U37* (Jean Theoret) 124.240
5th ... U5 (Mike Weber) 111.446
* Lap Penalty (Gun Jump)
HEAT 1B ...
1st ... U5 (Mike Weber) 147.129
2nd ... U7 (Mike Allen) 146.106
3rd ... U6 (Steven David) 136.628
4th ... U1 (Nate Brown) 127.852
5th ... U37* (Jean Theoret) 128.961
HEAT 1A ...
1st ... U2.25 (Ken Muscatel) 128.994
2nd ... U21 (Kevin Aylesworth) 105.460
DNF ... U100 (Greg Hopp)
DNF ... U3 (Jimmy King)
DNS ... U10 (JW Myers)
U3 Miss Chrysler Jeep - Jimmy King (159.332)
U37 Beacon Plumbing - Jean Theoret (159.009)
U7 Dick Scott Automotive Group presents Miss DYC - Mike Allen (157.680)
U6 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David (153.809)
U5 DYC Presents FormulaBoats.com - Mike Weber (153.634)
U10 Miss Emcor - JW Myers (150.476)
U100 Little Will - Greg Hopp (149.715)
U2.25 Michigan Mortgage Consultants - Ken Muscatel (141.462)
U21 Miss Simpatico - Kevin Aylesworth (139.671)
U1 Miss ELAM Plus* - Nate Brown (Did Not Run)
U13 - J M Kelly (Did Not Run)
*took commissioners option to run in race.
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