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Thread: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan View Post
    Lots could be said about all this but I'll keep it brief.

    Examining data will never get you to the level of interest or excitement that was once created at Reno - even if not every year was a barn burner in terms of the racing in each class. Data does not create excitement or passion.

    There wasn't one, single thing - from 1964 to about the mid-1990s that made Reno, and air racing in general, a more passionate, exciting experience. There were many, many things. They begin with the people involved. And no, I'm not saying the people racing now aren't good folks. They are. But they are different in a few ways - the product of a different environment socially and culturally.

    Dismiss it if you like but the best years at Reno - from a competition perspective and in other respects - were due in large part to the people involved. Some were nice people, some were nasty, some were hilarious, some looked for advantages on the sly, some spread misinformation just for the fun of it or to get in their competitors heads, some were in over their heads, some weren't, some were there to make the scene and have fun. But there was simply a bigger cadre of real racers and competition among them was what made it fun for them.. and everyone else. That makes a lot of difference on its own. And there are lots of other intangibles.

    On Tsunami... Jim and John have it right. No need to say more.
    Yeah...what he said. :-)

  2. #62

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    So what if we made the Unlimited Class, not Unlimited? To improve the level of air racing, we can electronically monitor manifold pressure and RPM in real time. For every lap where the average exceeds 70" then there will be a 5 second penalty. . For every lap where the average exceeds 80" then there will be a 10 second penalty. . For every lap where the average exceeds 90" then there will be a 15 second penalty. . For every lap where the average exceeds 100" then there will be a 20 second penalty. And so on progressively to 140". Use the same penalty formula for RPM over 3,100. I think that is brilliance. ��

    Say you run 7 laps at 3200 and 130" your going to get a 7x35=245 second penalty plus 7x10 for RPM = 70 seconds. For a 315 second penalty overall. I think a 5 minute and 15 second penalty for overtaxing your engine is an excellent way to level the competition.
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 05-05-2021 at 12:27 PM.
    John Slack

  3. #63
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Ummm... how about something more eye-catching for the crowd. If a UNL racer laps under a certain lap time - equivalent to a certain speed - 450 mph, 490, 500... whatever Section 3 decides in mostly sober fashion.. a nautical-style penalty is levied.

    In sailboat racing including the America's Cup, fouls committed during match races (2 boats) and fleet races (many boats) in the pre-starts or the races themselves result in "penalty turns". In other words, the penalized boat must execute a 360 before continuing on upwind or downwind legs, thus costing it time and distance to competitors. But once a penalty turn is completed, the penalized boat races on up or down the course.

    At Reno, we would of course make the penalty turn a vertical turn - yes, a loop. So when John Slack flying "Rare Bear 5" - so named because Senior Slack chose to power the repatriated Bear with 5 NHRA Top Fuel-style nitro-burning 426-Hemi-V8s linked together ingeniously - busts the chosen speed mark, he or any other similarly fast competitor would have to make a "penalty turn".

    The procedure (sure to be approved by air racing-loving FAA and insurance folks) would be to zoom to climb to 1000 ft, half a mile off of Pylon 5 - loop that puppy - then rejoin the course in the valley of speed. Slack would have to be careful about not accumulating too much speed diving down to rejoin the course or he might bust the speed limit again, resulting in another loop.

    Whammo-bang, you have a new penalty formula to keep stalwarts like Rare Bear and "Lady Jo" competitive in the same race AND an airshow for the fans. No need to hire expensive flip-flops. Air race and air show all in one. Take that Thunderbirds!

    Surely I jest.....

  4. #64
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    As much as anyone I understand the idea that if you didn't experience the heady days of an event from ones younger years, you just don't understand and no amount of data or chatter will change that.

    As someone who grew up one block from the Renton WA airport and spent his days pedelling the Schwinn to Lake Washington to watch the Unlimited Hydro's of yesteryear duel it out, I get it. Characters abound...and some cross over between RARA and Hydros. But the hero's of my youth (aside from my father and WWII pilot uncle, Mecury, Gemini, and Apollo guys) were Muncey, Musson, Chenoweth, Manchester, et al. However, to this day the sight of watching 5 or 6 UNL hydros rounding the north turn in Seattle, skid-fin digging in, roostertails flying high again a bright blue sky still gives me a rush. Always has...always will. Regardless of who's driving and which boats are involved.

    But let me throw this out...while you and I may look back and regard certain years as the "best racing years", what's to stop this generation who have been attending Reno over the past 5-10 years and, God willing, looking back on that period as the "best racing years?" It's all a matter of perspective and experience. Just because they happened back in the day doesn't necessarily mean they will remain forever as unchallenged high water marks.

    It's not about using data to build excitiment, per se. It's about doing some research into the facts and figures of what made those years special to the people who experienced them, building a matrix of the relelvant numbers (entries, quals, speeds, close finishes, etc), and using that matrix to see if whatever common threads develop can be applied to the future.

    Where would this sport be if the pilots and owners of the 80's looked back at the 60's and 70's and said, "Ya' know...it just isn't the same anymore. Maybe it's time to check out." We would not be talking about the halcyon days of the 80's and 90's. In fact, we'd not be talking at all.

    Look, we are likely never going to see 32 UNL in the pits ever again. Nor will we see the likes of Dago, Bear, Strega, Tsunami, et all on the course at the same time again. So be it. And even if we did, the players will not be the same (which seems to be a theme in the thread). But to discount what the future may be based on what the past has been does little to help the sport.
    Last edited by Air Boss; 05-05-2021 at 01:45 PM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  5. #65

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Air Boss View Post
    As much as anyone I understand the idea that if you didn't experience the heady days of an event from ones younger years, you just don't understand and no amount of data or chatter will change that.

    As someone who grew up one block from the Renton WA airport and spent his days pedelling the Schwinn to Lake Washington to watch the Unlimited Hydro's of yesteryear duel it out, I get it. Characters abound...and some cross over between RARA and Hydros. But the hero's of my youth (aside from my father and WWII pilot uncle, Mecury, Gemini, and Apollo guys) were Muncey, Musson, Chenoweth, Manchester, et al. However, to this day the sight of watching 5 or 6 UNL hydros rounding the north turn in Seattle, skid-fin digging in, roostertails flying high again a bright blue sky still gives me a rush. Always has...always will. Regardless of who's driving and which boats are involved.

    But let me throw this out...while you and I may look back and regard certain years as the "best racing years", what's to stop this generation who have been attending Reno over the past 5-10 years and, God willing, looking back on that period as the "best racing years?" It's all a matter of perspective and experience. Just because they happened back in the day doesn't necessarily mean they will remain forever as unchallenged high water marks.

    It's not about using data to build excitiment, per se. It's about doing some research into the facts and figures of what made those years special to the people who experienced them, building a matrix of the relelvant numbers (entries, quals, speeds, close finishes, etc), and using that matrix to see if whatever common threads develop can be applied to the future.

    Where would this sport be if the pilots and owners of the 80's looked back at the 60's and 70's and said, "Ya' know...it just isn't the same anymore. Maybe it's time to check out." We would not be talking about the halcyon days of the 80's and 90's. In fact, we'd not be talking at all.

    Look, we are likely never going to see 32 UNL in the pits ever again. Nor will we see the likes of Dago, Bear, Strega, Tsunami, et all on the course at the same time again. So be it. And even if we did, the players will not be the same (which seems to be a theme in the thread). But to discount what the future may be based on what the past has been does little to help the sport.
    Owen,
    I agree with you, which is why the sport class needs to be the future. Unlimited class with warbirds is not going to be sustainable. Relying on ultra millionaires to layout the money to continue to field the entries, while absorbing the liability for the racing is damaging the chances for large competitive fields. Being able to rely on modern builds where the passionate racers can afford to build and race their mounts. Important. Now admittedly I could be miles off base, but racing needs to be close and intense.

    Years back at one of Moya Lear's parties I found myself sitting between Darryl Greenameyer and Lyle Shelton. Now understand they did not like each other.... really. Darryl was racing with his sport class racer, Lyle still had the Bearcat. I got along fine with Darryl, and my Dad felt he could sit there on the other side of me and everything would be just fine. After a few minutes of small talk Darryl looked at me and said, "Tell your Dad to cash out on that Bearcat, tell him to buy a sport class racer and let's bring that level of competition, a grudge match to the sport class" Darryl was a showman and a racer as was Lyle they both understood that grudges sell the sport.
    John Slack

  6. #66
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    It could be Dusty, Sawbones, Argonaut, 924, Gold Finger, Miss America, and Full Noise all going for it and the result could, in theory be a great year of racing and not "a parade of stockers wishing they were actually racing." because they aren't running 460+.
    Will, you and I have likely discussed this plenty of times, but I still believe that when you have this group you have mentioned all together in the 400-450mph range, the simple competitor reaction is to be the fastest plane out there. This creates a snowball effect similar to the early days where the aircraft become more and more modified as the years go on. I think we have a special situation here too because the Yak's (especially Allison Yak's) don't really have a set path of mods like Mustangs and Furies do. That turns into experimentation, which waterfalls into excitement with maydays and failures, etc. Reno isn't as exciting without the drama that comes with maydays, blown engines, other failures, etc. The competition is one thing, but drama is on a whole 'nother level when three planes need to land and are all jockeying for spots on the airfield while the race is still going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Owen,
    I agree with you, which is why the sport class needs to be the future. Unlimited class with warbirds is not going to be sustainable. Relying on ultra millionaires to layout the money to continue to field the entries, while absorbing the liability for the racing is damaging the chances for large competitive fields. Being able to rely on modern builds where the passionate racers can afford to build and race their mounts. Important. Now admittedly I could be miles off base, but racing needs to be close and intense...
    For most of the die-hards, the Sport class is amazing. It has the drama of the Unlimited class and the sound of One Moment/Race 39 and the Thunder Mustangs is DAMN cool too. But for some reason, it can't get the love that Unlimiteds do and it's hard to figure out why? Is it because the planes are smaller and don't have the lavish looking pit stalls that Unlimiteds do? Lately the Sport class blows the Unlimiteds out of the water when it comes to the drama aspect, but the Unlimited class is still the favorite by most, and even the Silver stocker races gets people going more than Sport Gold. The thing is even as a die-hard that loves the Sport class, even I still feign to listen to Miss America's semi-race prepped engine to finish off Sunday afternoon and would be sad if that goes away. It's gotta be a solid mix of a close Unlimited class between 400-450, coupled by a full Silver and Bronze with semi-stockers and stockers, and an insane Sport class with all 8-9 entrants pushing 380+. Maybe just maybe that is enough to get the interest Reno deserves?

    Besides that, fingers crossed on Tsunami, the Redding Allison Super Yak, etc. If the Unlimited class can last 5 more years, these would easily breathe some much needed life back into it.......... I highly doubt there is anybody that knows about Reno that wouldn't want to come back to Stead and see Tsunami's return... goosebumps.
    *My Air Race Site*

    Reno from '99 to '21

  7. #67
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    John,
    No question about how a grudge fosters competition! And that's true in virtually every sport....be it motor, stick and ball, or any other form. Some of the best football I ever saw was back in the days of the Vikings vs. Packers with Paul Horning, Bart Starr, Joe Kapp, etc. You just KNEW there was no loved lost there.

    I would like to see the Sport Class do whatever needs to be done to expand the class at the upper end of the speed range.

    I don't mean any disrespect to any division of this class in any way, but the current state of the Medallion division calls for the same join up, Peavine/I-80, Chute start and a lap on the Outer course as all other Sports. That represents the same time allocated for UNL's and Sport Gold, whose speed are virtually twice as fast as Medallion. I'm not an expert in this area by any stretch but would it be possible to use the T-6 chute for Medallion. Same course...smaller planes...same speeds. And 8 laps...why not 6? Why 3 heats per division then the races?

    Sorry...I digress. But I would love to see this class tighten up a bit and put on an even more competitive event. It's doable.
    Last edited by Air Boss; 05-05-2021 at 05:22 PM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  8. Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    One of the cool things about the bronze and medallion sport races have been the planes running nitrous. Now they are getting to where they can run nitrous for the full race, but a couple of years ago the nitrous systems would only last for a couple laps. And it became a strategic move for light off your nitrous at the right time to make a pass or to hold a position.

    2019 #2 Vince Walker with nitrous beat #181 Karl Grove with turbochargers.

    Rerouting form up and chute approach sounds doable and fun. Needs to be addressed quickly with PRS around the corner.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    One of the cool things about the bronze and medallion sport races have been the planes running nitrous. Now they are getting to where they can run nitrous for the full race, but a couple of years ago the nitrous systems would only last for a couple laps. And it became a strategic move for light off your nitrous at the right time to make a pass or to hold a position.

    2019 #2 Vince Walker with nitrous beat #181 Karl Grove with turbochargers.

    Rerouting form up and chute approach sounds doable and fun. Needs to be addressed quickly with PRS around the corner.
    Thomas, I doubt it will happen this year. Too close to PRS to make a change like that. It would have to vetted by the class and then no doubt the FAA may want to weigh in as all such matters are part of the bi-annual Accreditation process for RARA with the FAA. That package has been submitted and we expect finalization by late July. It may run for three years in stead of the ususal two. But perhaps it's worth taking a look at...
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

  10. #70
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    "Reno isn't as exciting without the drama that comes with maydays, blown engines, other failures, etc. The competition is one thing, but drama is on a whole 'nother level when three planes need to land and are all jockeying for spots on the airfield while the race is still going on."

    JMHO but I must say I disagree. I would much rather get thru a day without a Mayday...every day. I'd much rather have the action and excitement on the course, not over the course with a deadstick a/c in search of the nearest RWY.
    Last edited by Air Boss; 05-11-2021 at 04:02 PM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races
    http://airbossone.com/

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