Heat Results ...


U-16 E-Lam 147.965
U-1 Bud 144.146
U-9 Sun 137.177
U-15 EMCOR 134.270
U-8 Llumar 124.271
U-25 123.915

HEAT 1A ------ HEAT 1B

U-16 139.610 -- U-1 144.773
U-9 139.072 --- U-15 144.041
U-8 135.352 --- U-99 137.002
U-10 124.313 -- U-25 128.023
U-3 129.395 --- U-100 125.207
U-2 97.079 ---- U-6 DNF

HEAT 2A ------ HEAT 2B

U-1 137.158 ---- U-10 143.139
U-25 119.054 --- U-16 140.922
U-9 lap pen ---- U-15 137.820
U-6 lap pen ---- U-2 136.299
U-8 lap pen --- U-99 133.030
U-3 DNF ------ U-100 DNF

HEAT 3A ------ HEAT 3B

U-15 142.543 ---- U-1 146.989
U-16 138.641 --- U-9 146.874
U-6 135.978 ---- U-10 140.681
U-8 131.463 ---- U-99 128.757
U-25 117.530 --- U-2 DNF
U-3 DNF ------- U-100 DNS

Final Results from Qualifying ...

U-16 Miss Elam Plus - Nate Brown 158.131
U-1 Miss Budweiser - Dave Villwock 156.538
U-10 Miss EMCOR I - Mark Weber 156.031
U-15 Miss EMCOR II - Mike Weber 154.849
U-9 Sun Harbor Mortgage - Mike Hanson 154.759
U-99 Znetix II - Terry Troxell 149.666
U-2 Trendwest - Scott Pierce 148.689
U-100 Znetix I - Greg Hopp 147.415
U-8 Llumar Window Film - Jimmy King 145.422
U-25 Silver Dollar Casino - Ken Muscatel 145.048
U-3 - Mitch Evans 140.290
U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto - Steve David 136.225

Stories from Bayfair ... Commish-Miss Bud is a battle to the end

By Bill Center UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER September 16, 2001 ...

Although there have been five different winners in as many Unlimited Hydroplane races this season, the greatest competition has been off the water. Dave Villwock vs. Gary Garbrecht -- the driver of the sport's most dominant boat against the second-year commissioner who wants to bring parity to what had become the Miss Budweiser show. The battle resumes today on Mission Bay as the abbreviated 2001 Unlimited Hydroplane season ends as the featured attraction of the Bayfair World Series of Powerboat Racing. The program includes Formula One tunnel hulls, offshore power boats and drag boats. For the past three years, the Bill Muncey Cup had mirrored the rest of Unlimited racing. The Villwock-driven Budweiser won. When Villwock won this year's season opener in Evansville, Ind., it marked the 27th win in 32 races for the driver in owner Bernie Little's Big Red Machine. But Garbrecht, who took over the troubled sport in partnership with Little last year, had already begun his efforts to level the playing field with rules directed at, by far, the sport's richest and most powerful team. First, Garbrecht limited the flow of fuel to the Budweiser turbine engine to 3.9 gallons per minute while everyone else runs with 4.3 gallons. Next, he set the minimum weight for each boat at 6,750 pounds to reduce the Budweiser team's use of exotic composites to reduce weight. Then, he required the use of stock engine parts. Finally, he began choosing -- just before each race -- the way the boats would start their five-lap, 12 1/2-mile championship heats. The fastest qualifier could be on the inside. Or there could be assigned lanes or a blind draw for lane assignments. Garbrecht could invert the start with the slowest qualifier in the favored inside lane. Or he could just let the field battle it out for position. Garbrecht has yet to offer any indication how the field will line up for this afternoon's 4:40 final. But he is sure of one thing. Villwock will likely be upset. "He's always mad," Garbrecht said yesterday. "He just can't get it through his mind what we're trying to do, and that's save this sport. He's going to have to get with the program. If there is no parity, there is no sport." Villwock sees it differently. He sees Garbrecht as being out to get Miss Budweiser. "They look at me every race and try to figure out a way to go against me," said Villwock. "Yeah, that's pretty much it," said the commissioner, who admits that Miss Budweiser would probably have won every race this season if he hadn't intervened. "People say I'm whining," countered Villwock. "I'm not whining. I'm just pointing out injustices." What's stranger about the Villwock-Garbrecht conflict is that Little -- who takes abnormally great pride being the sport's all-time runaway leader with 131 event wins (including 13 in 34 years on Mission Bay) and 20 national championships -- has tacitly backed Garbrecht's efforts to return competition to Unlimited Hydroplane racing. "Bernie and I have a perfect partnership," said Garbrecht, who is responsible for staging races while Little runs the financial end of the partnership. "I don't talk to him and he doesn't talk to me. I'm the rules guy, and he's the money guy." And Villwock . . . "It's a very muddy and dirty business," Villwock said Friday of Garbrecht's sweeping rules changes. "Not only has my ability to race been compromised, it's been very hard for me to stay out of harm's way with the restrictions placed on us. "I have a completely different acceleration rate than anyone else. To get ahead, I have to run through holes and take chances." Villwock believes it was taking those "risks" that led him to spin out just before the starting line at the Gold Cup this year and jump the gun at Madison, Ind. Garbrecht believes it was just bad driving. "He self-destructed," Garbrecht says of Villwock. "Ask him how many boats have passed him on the water this year. He had a 15-miles per hour advantage on the rest of the field for years. He could mess up a start or lay back and then power past everyone and win. "This year, they've been boat races." And although Villwock has won only one race this year, he'll still win the season championship today simply by finishing third in any of the first three rounds of heats. "I've had to be conservative," Villwock says of his fourth straight title run. "We've been trying to get as many points as we can and secure the championship, which is the No. 1 priority of the season." Villwock says he has no complaint with the idea of parity, only with the way Garbrecht brought it about. "We did need different winners," said Villwock. "I just wish it hadn't been done on such an adversarial path. I'd like to see the other teams step up the way Nate Brown's, Mark Weber's and Mike Hanson's have." But those teams have stepped up because Garbrecht has limited the effects of Miss Budweiser's deeper products. "We can't change the rules so that someone is rewarded just for showing up," said Garbrecht. "But we can even the field so that you can't simply buy wins by having the best of and having more of everything." Garbrecht has more changes in mind. Next year he wants to attack Budweiser's one-of-a-kind arsenal of propellers. This is an area of expertise for Villwock, whom Garbrecht fondly calls the "Prop God." And Garbrecht might add another brand of turbine engine. "I think we're on the right track," said Garbrecht, who noted that the crowds lining the Detroit River cheered when Villwock spun out before the start of the Gold Cup. "How many times are you going to go to a race if you know the winner before you get there? You'd think Dave could understand this." Oh, and one other thing Garbrecht would like to see next year. "I'd like to see Dave quiet down or be replaced," said Garbrecht. "He's going to have to come around, because I won't change."