Reno Air Race Association
Announces New Racing Series

FlightLine Update 4-2-98

In last month's feature story, "The Next Piston Show", we reported; "It has been suggested by some very well placed players in this game, that a new "unlimited" class will be born within limits on engine size" and the Thunder Mustang may "become the model for a future racing series". We've just received news, from the Reno Air Race Association, of the birth of an exciting new racing class that will open up one of the most interesting and competitive series ever to grace the Reno pylons. Sitting right smack within the outer limits of the new rules is none other than the beautiful new Thunder Mustang!

Warm up the Lancair's and Glasair's!

Last month it was announced that the powerful T-28's would be added to the '98 race line-up, as well as an increase in prize money by $120,000. (note: previous information called for only a $100,000 upping of the purse.) Yet another new class of air racing is being added to the 1998 Reno Air Races...image: The Legend 12k. The Sport Racing Class will take the pylons at this year's Reno Air Races. (Sept.17th through 20th at Reno-Stead Airport) These kit-built aircraft will be racing for the first time in Reno.

Dr. Jack Walther, Reno National Championship Air Races Chairman, said, "This is truly a first and it should provide a lot of excitement in as much as it will give the average pilot in his or her kit built aircraft a chance to go racing. The purpose of Sport Class air racing is to highlight the new and innovative work being done in the development of high performance kit built aircraft. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to field this new event."

The Sport Class Air Racing Association has developed a racing formatimage: Thunder Mustang 10kfor this new class of aircraft which will demonstrate its capability to showcase their new designs and racing skills. A turnout of 16-20 entries is expected. In order to be eligible to enter, the new class of racing planes must be production kit-built and powered by a reciprocating engine of 650 cubic inches or less. Engine size is a "total engine size" requirement, bringing hope of future outgrowth in the multi-engine aircraft realm. Bearing in mind these aircraft must be available in kit form, some very interesting new designs might be expected to be developed in response to this new class. All aircraft must have a current FAA airworthiness certificate. Pilot requirements are a minimum of 500 hours in the type of aircraft to be raced and EAA certification for formation flight. The Reno Air Race Association will host a "pilots school", July 17-19, for the T28, T6, Unlimited and Sport classes, with instruction being provided by some of the most experienced pilots in the sport.

Reminiscent of the the early days, the new competitors should make for nearly NONSTOP racing action! Filling the gaps between events, the US Navy will provide exciting demonstrations, featuring aircraft from it's TOP-GUN Fighter Weapons School from nearby Fallon, Nevada. The school was relocated to NAS Fallon recently, after closure of the Naval Air Station at Miramar, California. Several veteran air-show performers are also scheduled to appear.

Tickets for this year's Reno Air Races are now available by
(702) 972-6663.

To bring everyone up to date with all of the changes for this years Reno National Championship Air Races, here is the current breakdown of racing series:
Unlimited / T-6 / T-28 / Sport Class / Biplane / Formula 1… all to be within the established race groups (according to qualifying speeds and heat races) of Gold - Silver - and Bronze.

[click here for breakdown of classes and rules]

With the addition of two new race classes, along with the intriguing developments in the Unlimited-Class, the 1998 Reno National Championship Air Race is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and evolutionary events in modern air racing history.
All Aviation FlightLine OnLine, as always, will be there to report the news as events unfold. We still have 6 months to go before the races and lots of things are bound to happen. Check back often for updates!

-Mark Kallio and Wayne Sagar-
Information provided by:
The Reno Air Race Association

LinkExchange Member