Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto won Heat 1A. (Photo from the Oh Boy! Oberto Unlimited Hydroplane Facebook)
Steve David in the Oh Boy! Oberto won Heat 1A. (Photo from the Oh Boy! Oberto Unlimited Hydroplane Facebook)
Steve David claimed his first top qualifying award in nearly three years and followed that with a win in Heat 1A on the first day of the 2013 Oryx Cup UIM World Championship on Doha Bay in Doha, Qatar, on Friday.

David, who drove the Oh Boy! Oberto/Miss Madison to its fourth national championship in five years on the same body of water last month, out-ran Jimmy Shane and the Graham Trucking to win Heat 1A.

It was a different finish from the last time the two faced each other on Doha Bay. In the final heat of last month's race, Shane took control early on from lane one and cruised to his second career win.

Shane had lane one again on Friday but this time David passed him on the backstretch of lap one and pulled away to win by a roostertail.

"We found some horsepower since the last time we were here," David said. "We got off to a better start. That also helped.

"Our boat ran phenomenal," David added. "Whether we run from the inside or the outside we have them covered."

Brian Perkins was third aboard the Snoqualmie Casino and Ryan Mallow finished fourth in the Miss Fox Plumbing. Tom Thompson experienced a fuel control problem and did not finish aboard the Miss Peters & May.

Jon Zimmerman won a close battle in Heat 1B aboard the Miss Red Dot. Zimmerman was stuck in lane three at the start but outdueled J. Michael Kelly in the Miss Beacon Plumbing and Mark Evans in the Fedco for his third preliminary heat win in his past five attempts. Kip Brown was assessed a one-lap penalty aboard the Spirit of Qatar.

"Those guys made us work for that win," said Zimmerman. "We had a good start, we got a little lucky there and it worked out for us."

Earlier in the day David broke Dave Villwock's 17-race streak of top qualifying finishes with an average lap speed of 146.424 mph. Villwock's streak dated back to Madison 2010, the last time David was atop the ladder.

Villwock's normal ride, the Spirit of Qatar, was damaged during last month's race and as a result, the winningest driver in the sport did not make the trip. The Spirit of Qatar colors are flying on the Our Gang Racing entry this weekend.

Heats 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B will be run early Saturday morning Madison time. Heats 4A and 4B as well as the final will be run on Tuesday as part of Qatar's National Sports Day.