AAFO.COM "Inside Air Racing" Update
June 15, 2000- by:Wayne Sagar

Furias Pilot & Sponsor Announced

When an airplane is reported to be coming to Reno, carrying one of the biggest piston aircraft engines ever produced on its nose – it is big news. The report of one such airplane on her way back home to the Reno pylons has been "in the news" quite a lot lately but not much "news" has come out about Furias and her new owners.

We have been keeping close tabs on the project but many questions have gone unanswered: who would fly it? When would it fly? Would it have major sponsorship? What were the team's plans for Reno 2000?.....

In an official news release yesterday, Bill Rogers, one half of the Rogers-Stolzer partnership, new owners of Furias, filled in most of the blanks.

Rogers told us, "We are pleased to announce" quipping "as if anybody does not already know""Art Vance is the Pilot; We chose Art for several reasons: He’s demonstrated that he’s a good pilot; he’s well liked at Reno and he’s intimate with the airplane and has been since Lloyd Hamilton started the airplane many years ago"

Bill continued with more information on the pilot roster for Furias at Reno 2000, "Skip [Holm] will be alternate, with Stu Dawson serving as second alternate. Due to conflicting race schedules, the second alternate was chosen. You never know when we might be in the same race; We’ve chosen two alternate pilots for that reason."

As for sponsorship, a very important subject to any Race team… "We are also proud to announce that PRC Desoto will return as our sponsor for this year and coming years," said Rogers.

We asked about the new paint job, announced earlier this year.. "The airplane will be repainted, what it will look like, I have no idea at this time; I have to go back to Detroit and get with the design center and put something together."

We asked Bill the time frame for moving the airplane to her new home at Paine Field: "It’s ready to come up here, all we have to do is move it" In an obviously good mood, Rogers began laughing and issued the following statement: "We can’t wait to get the airplane out of ‘Santa Rosa Spy Country’ into the secret works of Seattle. There are just too many spies in Santa Rosa to continue doing secret work in that area," continuing to laugh, Bill added, "We were unable to perform some of the secret tasks needed to be done on the airplane to make it faster within the Santa Rosa spy network."

Although a great deal of work has been done recently by members of the Hamilton Racing Team and her new pilot, Art Vance, the airplane has been hangared in static condition since 1997. With time growing short, we wondered what the team’s expectations were for their place in the very competitive field shaping up for the event this year.

"We are going to get the airplane to Reno, get it in the show and see what we can do," Rogers answered.

Then turning somber, Bill stated "We are going to do our best to make our two lost friends, Gary Levitz and Lloyd Hamilton, proud of our efforts."

The airplane will be raced under the partnership formed between Bill Rogers and his long time friend and associate, Dale Stolzer. The formal name of the team is R & S Aero Displays but it will be raced under the team name of "Furias Racing."

Bill Rogers asked us to inform the readers of his very special debt of gratitude to the members of the former Hamilton Racing Team and others who helped get the airplane ready for moving to Paine Field. "I want to thank Larry and Dave, [who are] Hamilton Mechanics who both worked on the plane feverishly and also, Art Vance and his son Dan, who also worked very hard to get the airplane ready."

As we concluded our conversation with the VERY busy team owner, Bill directed a final remark to his Friend and fellow competitor, Bill "Tiger" Destefani… "(laughing) Tell Tiger, we’re gonna’ go easy on him this year.. but next year – watch out"

As racing at Reno nears and the "days till Reno" on the countdown clock tick off, the crew at AAFO.COM would like to offer a special note of thanks to all of the teams who cooperate with us to bring the special excitement that is "off season racing." Without their special blend of tolerance and patience toward our continuing inquiries, we could not share this look "inside" with the race fans. Air racing has been called an "annual event" our experience over the past three-and-a-half years, providing year-round coverage of this sport, has proven this to be quite incorrect.

There is a race that begins on Sunday afternoon after the last checkered flag has flown, a race that continues right up until the first green flag flies in September at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.. It is a race against the wind and the clock that is no less competitive than those races flown around the pylons by the brave and skilled pilots who champion the flag of the Worlds Fastest Motorsport. A race by highly dedicated participants to shave an ounce of drag, a fraction of a second – a race to achieve excellence, to be the best… This is not just Air Racing, this is human spirit at its finest…

links to recent stories about Furias

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For ticket and event information contact:
The Reno Air Racing Association


-Reno 2000- September 14-17

For ticket and event information contact:
The Reno Air Racing Association

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