1974 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 4, 1974
Introductions in Order for New Hydro Drivers
Introductions are in order for fans viewing today’s Gold Cup unlimited-hydroplane race on Lake Washington.
Fresh faces have popped up in several racing camps at the new Sand Point site. And although the five new drivers all are "old hats" in the sport of boat racing, none his put in an appearance here previously in an unlimited race.
Gerald (Jerry) Bangs’ name is familiar to many Northwest race followers because of his successful career here as a limited class driver. But not that much seems to be known locally about Bob Saniga, Roger D’Eath, E. Milner Irvin, 3rd, and Howie Benns.
Here’s a brief rundown on the newcomers, their accomplishments and their boats:
Howie Benns, 35, Grand Island, N. Y., single, father at four children, marine mechanical engineer. Benns, rookie driver of the Miss Budweiser, which campaigned two years ago as the Pay ‘n Pak, has been a champion in several limited-inboard classes. He won the seven-liter notional championship at Dayton, Ohio, last year after taking national titles in the 5K class in 1968, ‘69 and ‘70. Set the seven-liter world record for the quarter mile at 176.6 miles and hour and the Canadian kilo record at 166.3 k. p. h. Won 26 of 32 heats entered in the U. S. and eight races in Canada lost year.
Jerry Bangs, 38, Seattle, attorney, married, four children. Bangs jumped into the Mallory’s Red Ball Express two weeks ago in Tri-Cities and picked up $625 with a fourth-place finish in one heat and o third in another. Bangs capped a successful limited-class racing career last season by steering the Champagne Lady, a five-liter hydro, to a world-record run on Green Lake, then won the national five-liter crown in Dayton.
Roger D’Eath, 32, Hialeah, Fla., married, no children, marine operator. Comes from a racing family — his brother, Tom, will drive the Miss U. S. here today; his father Al, piloted thunderboats, including My Sweetie and Gale I, more than 20 years ago. Roger, who moved up through the limited classes, piloted Miss Miami two years ago. His boat’s name, which was Miss Cott’s Beverages earlier this season, has been changed to Miss Northwest Tank Service.
E. Milner Irvin III, 33, Miami, married, two children, electrical contractor. Began boat racing in 1967, raced in nearly every inboard class and has driven hydroplanes from 98 cubic inches to seven liters. Put Miss Madison in spotlight earlier this year, winning final heat of Champion Regatta in Miami.
Bob Saniga, 36, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, married, no children, sales manager for engineering company. Considered Australia’s No. 1 driver, Saniga has been racing for 15 veers, the past seven in unlimiteds. Steered the Solo, which is making first visit to this country, and Stampede to four Griffith Cup (Australian version of Gold Cup) victories, including 1974. Won Eppalock Gold Cup, Kimbolton Cup and St. George 600 in 1973, also setting Australasian straightaway speed record of 256.8 kilos an hour.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 4, 1974)
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