Just got in from 2 days at qualifing. This is my report from my 2 days of wandering the pits and nosing around.
Skips lap on Monday was the finest lap I have ever seen, low and tight the whole way around, no more than 10 feet outside the last pylon coming for home, probably no more than 20 feet of the ground! Dago is the team to beat, no substitute for the knowledge of the crew and preperation of the plane, not to mention the Skip factor.
Strega might have had a chance. His first hot lap was kinda slow but he really picked it up for number 2 still a little high and wide. It was a scary moment though as things let go right in front of the home pylon, scattering large parts of the cowling and a few puffs of smoke.Later, I listened to Tiger for about 15 minutes talk about it and his career. He believed at the time that the engine dropped a valve, causing a backfire in the induction trunk and the resultant damage. When he was asked why he didn't hold back and save a little for Sunday he quickly returned with, "If it can't make 2 today it ain't gonna make six on Sunday,I come here to win" He also assured us that this was his final year and that was it.
Cheqmate had a little problem on Monday with a run away prop. Apperently the resevoior behind the prop had the bolts come loose and lost the fluid for the prop control, resulting in an overspeed. It happend right above the pits. Those radials sound pretty good at 4000 rpm, to bad they aren't designed to run there. Overheard a team member say they weren't out for sure but they needed a new prop as that one would need an inspection before it could run again. The paint on the tips had apparently been peeled off in the event.
In the Sport class, Darryl flew a low tight line to set a new qual record at 347& change. The Lancair flown by Dave Morss, A supercharged legacy had problems yesterday and today landed and stopped on the ramp after trailing smoke. Later a crew memeber mentioned a compression check that resulted in an ZERO over 80 reading. I only saw John Parkers thunder mustang, no sign of the other blue one, Thunderstruck. Also absent or well hidden is the Stewart mustang of Kevin Eldridge. Another interesting one is the White Lightining Experimental race 46(?), owned by an enginneer, who has installed in the rear of the plane a 440cc two stroke engine that spins a vortex supercharger. The plane has a IO-360 and at this point is still fairly slow but defienetlyvery intersting setup.
On the way out we stopped by the Rare Bear hanger, lots of work going on, My personal observation and opinion is that they might get it flying in time but I can't see them being competitive. Once again this is my opinion and observation.
I have to work tommorrow and will be returning on thursday.