51st Unlimited Air Race at Reno Nevada!
Numbers are again low this year with only 13 contenders, but the 3 of the top winners of all time are back: Voodoo, Strega and Rare Bear. Thom Richard and Precious Metal are out from the devastating taxi fire in Florida. The Sanders Sea Furies are all in with Dreadnought, Argonaut and Centaraus powered #924. Curt Brown will again pilot #71 Seafury Sawbones - a gold contender.
Back this year is Sal Rubino in #4 Grim Reaper (Dan Martin as back-up), Dan Vance in Speedball Alice, Rob Gordon in Lady Jo and new this year is John "Dusty" Dowd Jr in #92 Yak Lylia. Noticeably missing this year is Czech Mate, although the pilot Sherman Smoot was in attendance.
If anyone doubted Rare Bear, not to worry. Stu Dawson came out and set the pace, taking the pole at 480. The weather was not good for speeds - cool, windy and smokey. The big surprise was a slowish time by Steven Hinton in Voodoo of 464.
Unlimited Class Qualifying:
1 - #77 Rare Bear, Stewart Dawson - 480 2 - #7 Strega, Hoot Gibson - 475 3 - #5 Voodoo, Steven Hinton - 464 4 - #8 Dreadnaught, Dennis Sanders - 432 5 - #71 Sawbones, Curt Brown - 417 6 - #114 Argonaut, Mark Watt - 377 7 - #924 Korey Wells - 373 8 - #31 Speedball Alice, Dan Vane - 340 9 - #4 Grim Reaper, Sal Rubino - 328 10 - #44 Sparky, Brant Seghetti - 310 11 - #92 Lylia, John "Dusty" Dowd Jr - 305 12 - #12 The Rebel, John Currenti - 303 13 - #81 Lady Jo, Rob Gordon - 303
Korey Wells bumped from Silver to Gold after winning the Saturday Silver Heat. The Silver final was less-than exciting with little close racing. Dan Martin raced the Grim Reaper on Friday, then Sal Rubino took over and ran consistent through the weekend winning the Silver with a good stocker speed of 341. Doug Matthews put some pressure on early in the Silver Final but did not have enough to stay with Rubino. Dusty Dowd came on strong from last place to finish in 3rd. On Thursday, Dowd pulled out with a mayday right after he passed us at Pylon 8. There was black smoke coming out from one of the jugs but they got it worked out.
Unlimited Silver Final
1 - #4 Grim Reaper, Sal Rubino - 341 2 - #12 The Rebel, Doug Matthews - 332 3 - #92 Lylia, John "Dusty" Dowd Jr - 321 4 - #31 Speedball Alice, Dan Vane - 312 5 - #44 Sparky, Brant Seghetti - 309 6- #81 Lady Jo, Rob Gordon - 301