1985 APBA Gold Cup
Lake Washington, Seattle WA, August 4, 1955


Hanauer Earns Fourth Consecutive Gold Cup
By Bill Curry

"There's a million ways to lose a boat race. There's only one way to win it." Finish first. That's what Chip Hanauer said and did, four times, to claim his fourth consecutive Gold Cup go-round. The Miller American piloted by Chip Hanauer took home the prestigious Gold Cup and in the process established a new qualifying mark, a sixty mile Gold Cup race record, and became the first driver in over sixty years to win four consecutive Gold Cups.

The Miller American qualified at a record 140.641 which eclipsed the previous standard set by Dean Chenoweth and the Miss Budweiser in 1981. Hanauer also broke the sixty mile race record set by the Executone last year. Hanauer averaged 120.705 mph for all four heats upping the record by almost eight miles per hour. The fourth consecutive win by Hanauer broke the tie he previously shared with Bill Muncey and Ron Musson. Gar Wood still holds the all time record of five consecutive wins.

The final heat saw the Miss 7-Eleven take the early lead at the start closely followed by the Miss Budweiser and Jim Kropfeld, The Squire Shop and Tom D'Eath, and the Miller American and Chip Hanauer. As the field rounded the exit pin of the south turn, the Miss 7-Eleven led the field up the backstretch, Miss Budweiser lost another supercharger off the corner, and The Squire Shop took second only to lose their Rolls engine two hundred feet later. The Miller American then continued its pursuit of Steve Reynolds and the Miss 7-Eleven. As Reynolds reached the apex of the north turn, the Miss 7-Eleven lost a coupler and the Miller American and Hanauer took the lead. The 7-Eleven breakdown was much like those in the Columbia Cup one week earlier.

The Executone and Scott Pierce settled into second place, far behind Hanauer. Cellular One and Todd Yarling placed third, far behind Executone. The Miller American and Chip Hanauer coasted home to victory.

"We've had only one DNF in the last five races" said co-owner, designer, and builder Jim Lucero. "Luck is where opportunity meets preparedness and our guys were ready today." But there may have been some luck in the prop on the Miller American.

"That came from the old Pay 'n Pak when Bill Muncey bought the boat in 1975. It won this race in 1974 with George Henley," said Lucero. "It's still our best prop."

In earlier action, heat 1A, the Miss 7-Eleven and Steve Reynolds took the lead at the start and led wire to wire to collect first place. The Miss 7-Eleven sustained damage to its sponson and right stabilizer support and was unable to finish repairs in time to answer the starting gun for heat 2B. The Squire Shop took second place followed by the Miss Budweiser, Cellular One, and Domino's Pizza. The Bud with Jim Kropfeld and Cellular One with Todd Yarling hooked up for three laps until the Bud pulled away for good on lap four.

Heat IB saw the Miller American and Hanauer break the late Dean Chenoweth's fifteen mile. heat record for the Seattle course set in the Miss Budweiser in 1981. The Miller American averaged 124.306 mph eclipsing the old record of 123.814 mph. Trailing the Miller American in 1B was the Executone with Scott Pierce, the American Speedy Printing and Andy Coker, Oh Boy! Oberto with Jerry Hopp, and the Miss Rock - KISW and Mitch Evans did not finish.

Hanauer easily won heat 2A, running in first wire to wire. Miss Budweiser was runner-up. Oh Boy! Oberto and American Speedy Printing ran deck to deck for three laps until Jerry Hopp and the Oh Boy! Oberto passed the Speedy and came home third. Andy Coker was nearly overcome by methanol fumes when his front-engined American Speedy Printing (the old Pay 'n Pak) blew a turbocharger during the heat. He managed to finish but at a reduced speed. George Johnson was unable to start the Domino's.

Heat 2B Saw Tom D'Eath pilot The Squire Shop to first place from start to finish. Executone was running in second place but lost a motor in the third lap and was unable to finish. The Cellular One and Todd Yarling was then able to finish the heat in second followed by the Miss Rock - KISW and Mitch Evans.

Executone and Scott Pierce desperately needed to win heat 3A to reach the final. And that's just what he did leading at the start and holding off The Squire Shop to assure itself a position in the final. The Squire hit the line first with Executone and the Bud in close pursuit. Coming up the back chute Pierce and the Executone took over first place and held off the Squire and D'Eath. Miss Budweiser came home third, Cellular One fourth, and Miss Rock - KISW fifth. At the finish Cellular One almost caught the Bud for fourth.

Heat 3B saw the repaired Miss 7-Eleven and Steve Reynolds hold off Miller American and Chip Hanauer for three laps until the Miller and Hanauer took the lead on lap four. The Miller then pulled away from the 7-Eleven and to the heat victory. Miss 7 Eleven finished second. The Oh Boy! Oberto and Jerry Hopp picked up third which was one place shy of making the final heat. The American Speedy Printing again suffered turbo problems causing methanol fume problems for driver Andy Coker as in Heat 2A. Coker managed to limp home fourth. George Johnson again failed to start the Domino's Pizza boat.

In the past three races Hanauer has won nine straight heats in the Miller American and scored its fourth regatta win out of the last five. It was also the ninth win in the last twelve Gold Cups for Jim Lucero, the Miller co-owner, builder and designer.

"We're not unbeatable," said Hanauer. "People said no one could beat the Budweiser with the Rolls Royce Griffons. We said bunk to that. The same people who were laughing at us when we came out with this combination now are saying we're unbeatable. Well, if someone's going faster than us, we'll figure out a way to go faster than them." Hanauer added, "When Jim and Bill Muncey were together with the Blue Blaster Atlas Van Lines, they were always improving it. Jim looks at the sport like a science. He makes his boats go faster and more stable. He doesn't care what everybody else is doing."

It appears that neither 7-Eleven, Bud, Squire, Executone, or any other race team can beat the Miller team. Only the ever changing Unlimited Rule Book can do that.

As a side note -- neither the U-33, Crown Nissan Motors nor the U-5, Tempus, called Miss Seattle, could run fast enough, two laps of 105 mph or more on the 2 mile course, to get into the race.

Heat 1-A

Miss 7-Eleven

-1-

119.518

The Squire Shop

-2-

114.722

Miss Budweiser

-3-

103.425

Cellular One

-4-

101.825

Domino's Pizza

-5-

91.969

Heat 1-B

Miller American

-1-

124.306

Executone

-2-

107.492

American Speedy Printing

-3-

99.639

Oh Boy! Oberto

-4-

99.057

Miss Rock - KISW

DNF

 

Heat 2-A

Miller American

-1-

118.028

Miss Budweiser

-2-

104.963

Oh Boy! Oberto

-3-

99.479

American Speedy Printing

-4-

83.247

Domino's Pizza

DNS

 

Heat 2-B

The Squire Shop

-1-

115.577

Cellular One

-2-

106.772

Miss Rock - KISW

-3-

101.103

Executone

DNF

 

Miss 7-Eleven

DNS

 

Heat 3-A

Executone

-1-

120.518

The Squire Shop

-2-

117.818

Miss Budweiser

-3-

106.118

Cellular One

-4-

105.369

Miss Rock - KISW

-5-

99.807

Heat 3-B

Miller American

-1-

122.501

Miss 7-Eleven

-2-

118.987

Oh Boy! Oberto

-3-

103.916

American Speedy Printing

-4-

99.069

Domino's Pizza

DNS

 

Final

Miller American

-1-

117.985

Executone

-2-

109.850

Cellular One

-3-

105.229

Miss 7-Eleven

DNF

 

The Squire Shop

DNF

 

Miss Budweiser

DNF

 

(Reprinted from the Unlimited NewsJournal, 1985)


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