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Thread: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

  1. #1
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    Default 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    I noticed that I'm already later than usual in making this thread! Now is the time

    Similar to last year, I am going to include planes I generally think have the capability of running toward the top of Sport Gold in 2019! Some of these are copy/pasted from last years report with some word changes for simplicity.

    A full and unbiased report of all the Sport Gold hot-shots for Reno 2019!

    (By Race #)...

    #3 (N400MC) ~Glasair III~ "Havoc": Sean Van Hatten's new racer is a very sleek looking Glasair. The Havoc team has been posting plenty of photos and videos of the build which looks ready to go in 2019! This Glasair was built to be a 'Super' Glasair (I don't know the exact modifications), but it unfortunately ended up on it's belly on the side of the road a few years back. Sean has put some TLC into the new ride and she looks better than ever! I'm excited to see how this new Glasair does, as I know they have 400mph+ hopes for it!

    #6 (N726DW) ~Lancair Legacy~ "Lucky Too": Vicky Benzing's Super Legacy is well-known as the fastest Chia-prepped Lancair on the race course (taking that claim to fame from Race 33 with a blistering 377mph qualifying lap in 2017). Lucky Too put on quite the show at Reno 2017, ending with a very impressive 2nd place finish behind Race 39. I for one was eager to see what 2018 would hold for the team. Bad luck struck Race 6 just before the 2018 Races and left the Legacy with a blown engine. Vicky ended up flying her stocker Legacy in Lucky Too's place. I haven't heard much this year, but I would assume the team is getting the Super Legacy prepped for another go in 2019! After getting dethroned as Reno's fastest Legacy in 2018 by One Moment, it's time for Vicky to make her mark once again.

    #8 (N5S) ~Lancair Legacy~ "Race 8": Dave Sterling's Super Legacy is always a top contender in Sport Gold. 2018 was set to be a good year for the team when the prop departed during qualifying and put Race 8 out of the competition before racing even started. David seemed eager to get Race 8 back on the course in 2019, and I wish him the best of luck in preparing for the races! Maybe a new prop choice???

    #24 (N430R) ~Glasair III~ "Race 24": The first I saw of Jim Rust's Super Glasair III was photos of this beautiful all white Glasair at PRS 2018. Expecting to see the same in September, I was blown away by one of the most "race-y" looking Sport class planes on the ramp! Bright green and blue covered the wings and fuselage of the blank white canvas, and a special Whirlwind propeller accented this killer racer! Jim put on a very good showing with the Glasair's first go at Reno. Every race the plane went faster, ending with an impressive 4th place finish in 2018's Sport Gold at just under 360mph. Look for big things to come from this team in the future!

    #28 (N105PZ) ~Lancair Legacy~ "Coming In Hot": Pete Zaccagnino's "Super" Legacy was all but Super in 2018. One of the most noticeable Legacy's on the ramp because of the huge cowl scoops, Race 28 suffered greatly at Reno last year. Pete couldn't seem to get the plane past 250mph the entire weekend, ending the weekend with a 1st place finish in... Sport Medallion??? This plane does have some potential that remains to be seen, maybe 2019 will be that year!

    #30 (N115YP) ~Lancair Legacy~ "One Moment": A plane that needs no introduction after a fantastic showing in 2018, Andrew Findlay's One Moment is the new plane to beat! A conglomerate of awesome mods before 2018 put One Moment on top all weekend. In the process of showing Jeff LaVelle that One Moment was a huge threat, Andy claimed the title of Reno's fastest Legacy, and did so with flying colors. As always, the One Moment team continues to fine tune the plane to make it more and more competitive going forward. Keep the 400mph+ laps going!

    #37 (N751LA) ~Legend~ "Joker": This is a plane that was slated to make it's debut at Reno 2018, but sadly wasn't ready. I have not heard any recent news, but I'm hopeful it will be on the list this year. I personally believe if any aircraft has the potential to set the new Sport class standard it would be this one. The Turbine Legend is notorious for being an incredibly sleek and fast homebuilt. Joker will feature a rumored V8 engine, shying away from the standard turbines that power just about every Legend built (obviously for Sport requirements). Stay tuned...

    #39 (N123AJ) ~Glasair III~ "Race 39": Another plane that, of course, needs no introduction. Race 39 was officially dethroned as Sport Gold champ by One Moment in 2018. The race week saw the Race 39 team ACTUALLY taking the cowl off for maintenance after a race, something that RARELY happens during race week! Race 39's engine has supposedly been the same for awhile now, and it slowly started to die out as the weekend continued. With a fresh engine mounted in front, Race 39 might be able to claim that top spot yet again. No matter what, Jeff still runs the fastest Super Glasair III at Reno, and doesn't want anyone to get close to taking that away.

    #42 (N42XT) ~NXT~ "Relentless": Another dark horse going into 2019 is the racer with a name that fits the plane perfectly. Relentless is slated to return in 2019, and Kevin is dedicated to take Race 42 to the top. Kevin has been working diligently on getting Relentless prepped for racing, including a conversion to single-seat and a new engine setup (hopefully something more proven, rather than experimental). The NXT airframe has proven itself to be one of the fastest Sport racers at Reno, and Relentless has the chance to keep the NXT on top of the food chain. Let's hope Kevin finally has a mount that can run top of Gold in 2019.

    #44 (N23LF) ~Lancair Legacy~ "Miss Karen II": As mentioned previously, the sister-ship to Race 33, Miss Karen II will more than likely be making her return in 2019. Race 44's last appearance was a pretty good showing in 2016 with a 4th place Gold come Sunday. Since then, she has been worked on plenty to get her back in good racing shape. With a slated return in 2018 pushed back one extra year, it would be great to see this speedy Super Legacy back on the ramp this September, hopefully faster than ever!

    #47 (N477CM) ~Glasair III~ "Mojo": Another very fast Glasair III is Bob Mills' Mojo. Mojo is a very similar plane to Race 39, but doesn't have all the mods to keep it in the top of Gold. There have been some off-season mods in the works to help make this plane more competitive, but without a full carbon copy of Race 39's mods (and then some), Race 47 probably won't be able to keep up with the front of the pack.

    #181 (N181KG) ~Lancair Legacy~ "GA1": Arguably my favorite Super Legacy, Karl Grove's Race 181 is quite the stunner. As far as I know, Race 181 is the first Super Legacy built from the ground up to race at Reno, and it shows! Her Reno 2018 debut was actually quite exciting. A qualifying speed of just under 250mph put Karl in the Bronze pack to start the week. Slowly and surely Karl added a tad more speed to win Bronze, Silver, and then be placed in the Gold on Sunday. Sunday's race was a disappointment when Karl pulled up and out coming down the chute. He landed safely, but the true potential of Race 181 was in question for one more year. Karl has been taking good care of her in the off-season, and knows the plane can do 400mph. Let's see it Karl!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    'Honorary Mentions'

    #67 (N167BP) ~Thunder Mustang~ "Swiss Thunder": Peter Balmer's colorful Thunder Mustang ended up being the fastest Thunder Mustang at Reno after the devastating loss of John and Blue II. Race 67 sports a 3-blade setup as Blue II did, but is not nearly as refined as John's bird was. There is plenty of more development to be done with Thunder Mustangs, but look for Race 67 mixing it up in the Gold as usual.

    #151 (N151CR) ~Thunder Mustang~ "Clas Thunder I": This Thunder Mustang was going to be quite the site at Reno 2018 when the team revealed the MASSIVE 5-blade prop that was going to be spinning in front of Race 151. As Reno got closer, they made the decision to put the 4-blade back in front so they could do some more testing with the 5-blade before actually racing. Hopefully Reno 2019 will see the return of the 5-blade back up front, and be the first Thunder Mustang to run this AWESOME setup around the pylons.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That leaves us with 14 planes that could be present at Reno fighting for the Gold! Undoubtedly some of these may not be ready or may not make it to Sunday, but Sport is showing some more potential than ever before. It's pretty exciting that there is potential for 5 different types of aircraft to be represented in the Gold race, and more Glasair III's than ever before! Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly for these racers over the next few months as we prepare for a Sport Gold battle come September.

    Update #3 (July 9, 2019): I did some 'cleansing' of the list, removing those that I have a feeling will not be in attendance this year. Thanks to Andy Findlay's podcast, I was able to get a little closer to the confirmed Gold field for this year. We are sitting at 14 potential Sport Gold entries, 12 of these are confirmed to be attending this year with race 28 and 37 up in the air at the moment. It is very possible (if nobody breaks) that the Sport Gold race will not have a Thunder Mustang in it, and that's saying something! Conservative guess is 10 planes capable of 350+mph, scratch 2 or 3 during race week, end up with at least 7 350+mph planes come Sunday. Now THAT is some GOOD Sport racing!!!
    Last edited by GRNDP51; 07-09-2019 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Update #3
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '18

  2. #2

    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    #33 actually beats #181 for first Legacy built for racing. #33 only has the center stick. No carpet/interior and no flaps.

    Rumor for #39 is they have been pulling long hours to find more speed.

    Very exciting to see the growth in the field and everyone pushing the faster speeds
    "young" Thomas

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    THIS class is what keeps my interest at Reno!

    Thanks so much for the update!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    #33 actually beats #181 for first Legacy built for racing. #33 only has the center stick. No carpet/interior and no flaps.

    Rumor for #39 is they have been pulling long hours to find more speed.

    Very exciting to see the growth in the field and everyone pushing the faster speeds
    You are probably right about 33. I was under the impression it was built and then modified (like most other Legacyís), but canít remmeber that far back. Thanks for the info!
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '18

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    I may have left out a potential competitor, but Iím waiting to get some more info. I believe N513TM (Race 69 Poky) is under new ownership by someone who wants to race it again. Another awesome Super Legacy that has some really good mods done to it already.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '18

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    #37 (N751LA) ~Legend~ "Joker": This is a plane that was slated to make it's debut at Reno 2018, but sadly wasn't ready. I have not heard any recent news, but I'm hopeful it will be on the list this year. I personally believe if any aircraft has the potential to set the new Sport class standard it would be this one. The Turbine Legend is notorious for being an incredibly sleek and fast homebuilt. Joker will feature a rumored V8 engine, shying away from the standard turbines that power just about every Legend built (obviously for Sport requirements). Stay tuned...
    GNDP51, is Jeff Ackland involved with this? He told me they were working on an LS powered sport class plane with some nice power numbers, but still figuring out the PSRU.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    Quote Originally Posted by TarDevil View Post
    GNDP51, is Jeff Ackland involved with this? He told me they were working on an LS powered sport class plane with some nice power numbers, but still figuring out the PSRU.
    Race 5 probably knows more than me about it. Bill Koleno of Titan 51 was listed as the pilot before it got taken off the roster last year. That's the extent of my info on it so far.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '18

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    Quote Originally Posted by GRNDP51 View Post
    Race 5 probably knows more than me about it. Bill Koleno of Titan 51 was listed as the pilot before it got taken off the roster last year. That's the extent of my info on it so far.
    I'm in the dark on that one too.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    I was at KPAE today and happened to see Race 39 take off at around 11:45 for what I assume was a test flight. It took off in formation with what I assume was a chase plane (looked like a Tucano), and they headed SW in formation. This is the third time I've seen the airplane up this year (though I'm guessing there have been other flights too). I hope their search for speed is going well. Sport Class should be very interesting and competitive this year.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2019 Sport Gold Synopsis

    Quote Originally Posted by TarDevil View Post
    GNDP51, is Jeff Ackland involved with this? He told me they were working on an LS powered sport class plane with some nice power numbers, but still figuring out the PSRU.
    No, I am not involved in any way. and I am not currently working on a Sport Class racer (although the thought does occasionally cross my mind)...

    Jeff

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