The day after Oh Boy! Oberto driver Steve David unofficially claimed the 2012 H1 Unlimited Air National Guard Series National High Points Championship during a dramatic day of racing at the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship on Doha Bay in Qatar, “hometown” favorite Dave Villwock crashed and caught fire in Spirit of Qatar.
After losing an apparent victory to a fuel violation and incurring a penalty for striking a buoy on Thursday, Villwock appeared to be on his way to an easy victory in Heat 4B on Friday. But as he entered the second turn on the first lap, his boat hit a roller and got airborne, according to the H1 Unlimited press release. The boat landed hard and broke the motor mounts and came to a stop. Then things got worse as a fire broke out, doing considerable damage before being extinguished by safety crews.
Owner Erick Ellstrom said the team will attempt to make repairs in time for the H1 Unlimited return to Doha next month (Feb. 8-12), but added that they had not been able to make a complete assessment of the damage to the boat.
Earlier on Friday, David continued his quest for a perfect weekend in Oh Boy! Oberto adding a victory in Heat 4A to make it four wins in four starts in the preliminaries. While piling up victories, David secured the 2012 H1 Unlimited Series Championship for his team. The championship means the Madison, Ind.-owned boat will again bear the U-1 for the 2013 season.
Racing is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, with the Final at 3 p.m. Doha time – weather permitting.