Schumacher Racing announced that the team’s upcoming return to H1 Unlimited competition at the HAPO Columbia Cup in Washington’s Tri-Cities area (July 25-27) also will mark the return of Dave Villwock, who has the most wins in the sport’s history, to the driver’s seat of an Unlimited hydroplane.
The sport’s winningest driver, Dave Villwock will be in the cockpit of the Miss Beacon Plumbing hydroplane at the next H1 Unlimited race.
“In the past year, a lot of people have asked me how it made sense to have the best driver in the history of the sport as a backup driver,” said team owner Billy Schumacher in an H1 Unlimited press release. “One of those people was our sponsor, Bill Cahill of Beacon Plumbing. So we approached Dave with the idea of returning to driving and we are very happy that he is willing. We’ve made dramatic changes to the boat and having Dave experience the boat ride will speed up the tuning process.”
Villwock agreed. “We will really be developing a new boat with all the changes we made and this should allow us to get it up to speed as quickly as possible,” he said.
Asked how he expects the rebuilt Beacon Plumbing to compare to the boats he drove during his record-setting career, Villwock said he thinks it’ll be pretty close.
“There are some differences and some things that will need tweaking once we have seen it on the water, but we think we are going the right direction with the boat,” Villwock said.
Plans are for Scott Liddycoat—the 2011 H1 Unlimited Rookie of the Year—to get some time in the boat at the Columbia Cup as well and get the necessary laps in competition to renew his Unlimited license. The team’s plans do not go beyond the Seattle race a week later at this point.
Regarding rumors of an ownership change, Schumacher explained: “It’s no secret that Bill (Cahill) has wanted to become an owner in the sport and it’s something we have talked about for a long time. He has loved Unlimited hydroplane racing all his life and it makes a lot of sense for him to become an owner. I think he’ll make a great one. We are moving things in that direction and the time for the change is getting closer.”
Schumacher, himself a former Gold Cup and national champion, said his plans for the future include “a lot of fishing out on Puget Sound.”