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Thread: Sport Class Questions!!!

  1. #1
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    Default Sport Class Questions!!!

    To Tom McNerney (Dudewanarace),

    Thanks for chiming in on the "BANG!" thread Tom, I have PLENTY of questions... I know you're not the all-knowing Sport class guru, but I'll take whatever you offer.

    In no particular order, just what comes up in my head.

    -Can Blue 2 win without Jeff breaking? (or fast enough to break Jeff?...) They did some stuff to her. John didn't take her to OSH and I can only think that's because he wants the engine to be pristine come Reno.

    -The Aerochia Legacy's. 33, 44, 6 (ex. Stutes)... I know 6 is coming. I've been keeping track of Vicky and some stuff she's posting and I know it'll be there. Are any of the Aerochia Super Legacy's fast enough to push Jeff and John? Vicky says that Race 6 will be "breaking records". I'm not sure if that record will be "fastest female sport class racer" or if they mean an official record. I doubt it... The owner of 33 chimed in on here a couple months ago (forget his name) and sounded hopeful in bringing it. Haven't heard since. 44 has been for sale but it hasn't stopped Lynn from coming. The only deterrent in me thinking they will come is that Elliott and his team put a ton of work into getting them both ready last year. Is there someone besides Elliott that is capable of getting 2 super legacy's ready to race competitively?

    -Is "Mojo" going to be running the same speeds as when Gary owned her?

    -David Sterling, fastest Legacy to date, I imagine Dave can chime in because it is his plane, but who runs his crew and how is that plane so fast? Is it able to win?

    -One Moment, Andy wants to win and it's a matter of time... Can it do 400? This plane is a mystery to me. It seems like the most "paid attention to" Legacy but it still can't put up the speeds that 33 and 8 have. Is it just teething problems..?

    -You and Grove. You already said Grove can't race til 2019 earliest, that REALLY sucks and I keep telling myself it'll be there don't worry. And you already mentioned that your plane most likely won't be competitive enough because you won't be putting a overhauled engine in her each year like Jeff does... Updates..?

    -Other Thunder mustangs... Any plans on the new additions turning into full race like Rapid Travel?

    -Finally.... The user Race 5 on this site seems to know a lot about everything... I don't know who he is but he knows a ton. He said there's a plane besides any of the ones I've named that might be the winner this year.... Spill the beans PLEASE!!!

    Thanks in advance Tom! Looking forward to Sport more than ever this year
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '17

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    Answers in BOLD without the quote brackets..
    To Tom McNerney (Dudewanarace),

    Thanks for chiming in on the "BANG!" thread Tom, I have PLENTY of questions... I know you're not the all-knowing Sport class guru, but I'll take whatever you offer.

    In no particular order, just what comes up in my head.

    -Can Blue 2 win without Jeff breaking? (or fast enough to break Jeff?...) They did some stuff to her. John didn't take her to OSH and I can only think that's because he wants the engine to be pristine come Reno.

    I spoke to John at Oshkosh and he said they are going to be basically racing the package they had last year, which certainly wasn't bad at all. It has taken a lot of work but their team has the plane in as good or better condition than it was before the after race failure last year. As for winning, I think John is the only one keeping Jeff honest at this point.

    -The Aerochia Legacy's. 33, 44, 6 (ex. Stutes)... I know 6 is coming. I've been keeping track of Vicky and some stuff she's posting and I know it'll be there. Are any of the Aerochia Super Legacy's fast enough to push Jeff and John? Vicky says that Race 6 will be "breaking records". I'm not sure if that record will be "fastest female sport class racer" or if they mean an official record. I doubt it... The owner of 33 chimed in on here a couple months ago (forget his name) and sounded hopeful in bringing it. Haven't heard since. 44 has been for sale but it hasn't stopped Lynn from coming. The only deterrent in me thinking they will come is that Elliott and his team put a ton of work into getting them both ready last year. Is there someone besides Elliott that is capable of getting 2 super legacy's ready to race competitively?

    Here is what I know. Vicky told me they plan to run all the power #6 can make, so that is definitely going to be exciting. I know it is a little bit of a dated package, but I suspect no expense was spared getting the plane in race trim again. How fast is it? That I really have no idea.. The problems that #33 ran in to were motor related. Being that #44 was built in similar fashion, #44 is down for a tear down just to be safe. Better to catch the problem now than blow it up later. Plus while #44 is down they had some time to do some deeper maintenance on the airframe that was probably needed. Can someone else get race planes competitive? You bet.. but not those planes, this year.

    -Is "Mojo" going to be running the same speeds as when Gary owned her?

    Yes, if not a little more. Gary was very competitive but didn't have the time to do a lot of testing. Bob has that testing background that really helps develop a plane like that. I expect it will run better than ever.

    -David Sterling, fastest Legacy to date, I imagine Dave can chime in because it is his plane, but who runs his crew and how is that plane so fast? Is it able to win?

    I'll let Dave tell the story. It is quick.

    -One Moment, Andy wants to win and it's a matter of time... Can it do 400? This plane is a mystery to me. It seems like the most "paid attention to" Legacy but it still can't put up the speeds that 33 and 8 have. Is it just teething problems..?

    Last years engine failure was a bad piston design. Something nobody expected. That's racing.. There is a new design in the works but I think everyone is a little crunched on the time frame for this year. It's going to be close. But, during the off season, Race #30 has been switched to a completely electronic airplane. Full EFI and Ignition. Some of the results of that have me really questioning why I didn't do it from the beginning.. Going to be sweet!

    -You and Grove. You already said Grove can't race til 2019 earliest, that REALLY sucks and I keep telling myself it'll be there don't worry. And you already mentioned that your plane most likely won't be competitive enough because you won't be putting a overhauled engine in her each year like Jeff does... Updates..?

    The new, new engine is back on #181 (Grove) and I expect they will flight test again in a few weeks. Looking forward to seeing it worked out. Mine is far from done at this point. I don't want to rush it and be not ready. Would rather everything be done right and tested. I was actually designing turbo waste gate bodies before I typed this post, so the work continues everyday.

    -Other Thunder mustangs... Any plans on the new additions turning into full race like Rapid Travel?

    The list of flying Thunder Mustangs is getting shorter and shorter. I doubt we'll see a full blown racer again, other than Parker. The green one that was at Oshkosh had a gear failure on its way home this weekend, so its future is questionable. No details out on that yet.

    -Finally.... The user Race 5 on this site seems to know a lot about everything... I don't know who he is but he knows a ton. He said there's a plane besides any of the ones I've named that might be the winner this year.... Spill the beans PLEASE!!!

    I wonder who that is too. Most of their posts are accurate from what I know.

    Thanks in advance Tom! Looking forward to Sport more than ever this year

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    I thought I would share a little more information on the entry list for the Sport Class, and why nobody has seen it yet.

    First, let me explain the situation. RARA has limited the class to 40 airplanes parked at Stead, no exceptions. That is 36 racers and 4 alternates. In total we had 48 applicants I think it was. So hear comes the B.S.

    Unlike every other form of motor racing where everyone qualifies, we had to create a selection process for entries that the officers had to approve. That wouldn't be hard if everyone was racing the exact same plane as last year, and you didn't have rookies in fast planes that have never raced. So, as some of you may have noticed, we ran a qualifying period during PRS for all of the airplanes that have not raced at Reno before. That data, compiled with previous years results, and some slight speed adjustments based on upgrade information we have, the officers compiled a list of accepted entries for NCAR 2017. Sadly that list put 8 planes and pilots on a waiting list, some of them veterans. It was the most fair way would could do it, other than qualify everyone, which RARA wouldn't allow.

    That list was given to RARA and I don't know if we have seen an "official" response from them yet. That is why nothing is public. Keep in mind, with the President leaving recently, things are probably still a little shaken up over there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    Thanks a ton for the detailed response, I know a lot of others will appreciate that besides myself.

    Of course some of your answers were upsetting (no 33 and 44, TM gear problems... etc.) but that is Reno! I guess one of the reasons being in the dark is nice is you don't get disappointed too early!!! But with little discussion on this board I needed SOME info at least until the entries come out.

    The idea behind the 48 qualifiers is interesting,,, I think? I understand that 40 is the limit and that is actually very fair. I imagine it's the fastest 40 make the cut, correct? That seems fair to me and that's how it should be, encourages those bottom 8 to make faster planes!!! (I think...)

    The way that RARA is doing it seems fair so those 8 don't have to come to Reno and dedicate the time and effort just to be turned down during race week. It would be cool to see all 48 planes there qualifying for the top 40 spots but I call that fair on RARA's part. All of my questions were directed at the Gold racers which of course is the main event for Sport, so I highly doubt any of the 8 that aren't attending would be Gold contenders anyway... That would be my biggest issue is a fast Legacy or something that doesn't have any previous history, couldn't attend PRS, etc not being on the list. I doubt that's the case and imagine those 8 are RV's, Harmons, those types...

    But hey if you're sayin' you know the 40 that will be on the ramp in September, I'm not begging you to throw the list on here but

    Thanks again Tom, love the info. Good luck on the Legacy!!!
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '17

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    You are welcome. Happy to share what little I know.

    Just for the record, RARA doesn't really figure this out. They do very little in this regard other than putting a size limit on it. The structure to fairly pick 40 was all done in house, by the Sport Class. Don't give RARA so much credit. lol

    The reality is this system isn't as fair as it could be because the only true gauge of performance should be mono e mono, er... mono e all the other planes under the same conditions. The deadline to enter is about the middle of July. Think how many racers undergo significant changes weeks, if not days, before Reno to bring the best they have. An example would be adding nitrous to an RV. It may have not made the field per our murder board, but 40 hp shot would have maybe gotten it in. And it could have been done and tested between July and September. Just seems, well, not race like to do it this way.

    The Sport Class has lost the Tac Air hangar this year. That is the one the Gold and a lot of the Silver racers pit in. Also, the privately rented hangar across from RARA that usually housed #42, #33 and friends is rumored to not be available either. We're all going to be crammed on the ramp somewhere.. Total mess, but it is what it is.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    I'm really looking forward to seeing what Andrew can do this year. For those that may not know, his new EFI setup is proven. It's the same setup that Mike Dacey used in his Gold racer and their reliability was pretty impressive. I'm even more curious to see how a setup like his compares. He's using ADI to control inlet temps vs the big intercoolers like the Chia Legacies run. Seems like it is a lot less ducting, to come apart, less cooling drag etc. Plus it obviously seems to work very well in Jeff's airplane.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Race5 View Post
    I'm really looking forward to seeing what Andrew can do this year. For those that may not know, his new EFI setup is proven. It's the same setup that Mike Dacey used in his Gold racer and their reliability was pretty impressive. I'm even more curious to see how a setup like his compares. He's using ADI to control inlet temps vs the big intercoolers like the Chia Legacies run. Seems like it is a lot less ducting, to come apart, less cooling drag etc. Plus it obviously seems to work very well in Jeff's airplane.
    I always wondered why One Moment didn't have the big ducts out of the cowling. I think the ducts look pretty sweet (makes it look like a hot rod) but the ADI setup is killer. What caused the Questair accident? Hope Andy doesn't have anything similar...
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '17

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    "David Sterling, fastest Legacy to date, I imagine Dave can chime in because it is his plane, but who runs his crew and how is that plane so fast? Is it able to win?"

    "Why is that airplane so fast?"
    Speed is a combination of airframe, engine and flying the correct line. It's never one thing until you exhaust airframe cleanup and are flying the best line possible, after that it's all horsepower. At this time I don't think it is one specific item but just a combination of everything.

    " who runs his crew?"
    I do. I built the airplane, modified it and do all the tweaking.
    I take input from everyone and make the final decision of what I think is the best course of action.

    "Is it able to win?"
    At any given time anyone of the top gold planes can win. Engine failure, DQ or multiple pylon cuts on the lead planes. (How's that for a cop-out answer).
    Will this airplane do 400? I don't think so. That would require a huge amount of horsepower and I don't think I want to beat up the engine any more than I already am. I tell people this is not a race plane, it's a plane I race. During the off-season I "de-race" the plane and fly it around just like any other "normal plane".
    Some additional airplane info. I did not build the airplane for racing. As a matter of fact my first year racing was the first year I had ever been to the Reno air races. During the building process I did all of the aerodynamic improvements I could so I would have an efficient airplane. When the airplane was first built it was normally aspirated. After a couple of years of racing I lost my mind and decided to turbocharge it. Big project. I wanted to go a little faster, well it definitely did that.

    Dave

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    Dave,
    You’ve done a GREAT JOB with your plane! Your speeds and consistency are a testimony to your hard work, and attention to detail is extraordinary WELL DONE!! All you have done, your work and your performance, shows the world that it is minute details and working on very small things that add up to great results! Keep up the good work! There are a lot of people new to Air Racing or on the periphery that have no idea how much work is involved in fielding a competitive racer plane. Continue to do the small things it will add up! BE SAFE! If there is anything we can do to help you in any way please feel free to holler.

    Jon

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sport Class Questions!!!

    This thread is proving in one more way why the sport class is the future of air racing. Your guys' willingness to come on here and simply talk about it keeps us simple fans so much more engaged with the class itself. Thanks guys.
    You'll get your chance, smart guy!

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