DETROIT -- Dave Villwock drove the U-96 Spirit of Qatar to a top qualifying speed of 162.309 mph on the 2.7-mile Detroit River course Friday, leading all qualifiers for this weekend's 101st running of the Jarvis Restoration Detroit APBA Gold Cup.
Last week's fastest qualifier and race winner, Steve David, drove the U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto to the second-fastest speed of 158.350.
"The course is about 300 feet longer on the front and 300 feet longer on the backstretch than it was last year," said David. "The Scott's middle ground is not very deep, and the course had to be lengthened for safety reasons."
With the longer straightaway, speeds down the backstretch are approaching 200 mph.
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Greg Hopp in the U-100 Jarvis Construction surprised everyone with a strong showing, going 158.773 for the third spot.
The first set of elimination heats will begin at 8:30 a.m. PDT today.
The Gold Cup final is Sunday.
APBA Detroit Gold Cup qualifying
1. U-96 Spirit of Qatar, Dave Villwock, 162.309 mph.
2. U-1 Oh Boy! Oberto, Steve David, 158.350.
3. U-100 Jarvis Construction, Gregg Hopp, 157.773.
4. U-37 Miss Peters & May, JW Myers, 156.600.
5. U-7 Graham Trucking, J Michael Kelly, 155.782.
6. U-6 Formulaboats.com, Jeff Bernard, 155.251.
7. U-17 Red Dot, Nate Brown, 155.235.
8. U-13 Miss DYC, Cal Phipps, 152.001.
9. U-21 Gill Chiropractic, Brian Perkins, 150.784.
10. U-25 Boyland Nissan, Ken Muscatel, 150.710.
11. U-22 Matrix Systems, Ken Webster, 139.383.