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

  1. #41

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    There is not a formula that you can create that is going to give you a resultant "Great year of racing".

    Passion for winning, thinking about nothing else but winning. That doesn't exist in the sport today. So where do you go to find the passion? What store sells that? So the best we can do is reminisce about what made the good years great and the bad years not good.

    This is just my opinion but the sport class with the leash taken off creating an additional Unlimited Sport Class would be the next great adventure. That is not just my opinion I spoke with Jon Sharp about that at the 1997 Minnesota Aviation Sport Conference. Less cost per unit for an all out no-holds barred Sport racer.
    I disagree with you because the way I see things, there is a lot of reason for optimism.

    I can create a formula to figure out what makes a successful event. It's what I do for a living as someone who crunches data and turns it into something usable. But to do that I need data. You just mentioned all of these great eras, but I want to know why specifically were those eras great? or even more specifically why was a specific year within that era great? Was it because it was a comeback from the previous year? Was it because it was an upset victory? etc. These are all things that data crunchers can go and work magic with.

    And I wanted to hopefully encourage you that the passion for winning absolutely still exists. Jeff Lavelle won for years with no one close to catching him and he still kept coming out. In biplanes the Phantom crew keep putting in the work even though they don't have any challengers. It's Justin Meaders wanting to race without the use of his legs and winning the gold. I have the passion to win. I've been part of Findlay's multi-year pursuit of unseating Jeff and now our goal is to out-qualify Dreadnought, just to say we can. Stevo isn't the last one. He's just one of many, and as long as we have that, good things will come.

    And it should also encourage you to know the Sport class is already unlimited. The only thing in effect is the limits on cubic inches. And all that is doing is stopping people from putting an Allison in their Legacy. And for the sake of sanity and keeping costs reasonable, I think that's a good thing. And it really isn't holding anyone back. The only way you could argue that, is if you wanted to build a custom racer with twin 550s, but no one is building that so there is no problem. Outside of that one rule, which isn't even a limitation at the moment, the class is unlimited.

    Hopefully that provides a more optimistic outlook for the state of the sport and where things could go from here.
    Last edited by CubersWrist; 05-04-2021 at 07:49 PM.
    "young" Thomas

  2. #42
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Okay, how about this: 1988 was the zenith at Reno.

    All four classes had full fields. Three of the four classes set new qualifying records. Two of the four classes set new speed records in their respective Championship heats.

    There were 36 QUALIFIED Unlimiteds out of 42 entries. FORTY TWO UNLIMITEDS. For the third year in a row a new qualifying record was set in the Unlimited class. For the first time in history every single plane in the Unlimited Championship race was a highly modified racer...and the defending champion didn't even make the field. And the R.J. Reynolds contingency money made a play.

    Just on 'potential' alone, it was never better. And the sad thing was, at the time we all thought it was only going to continue going 'up'.

  3. #43

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    Okay, how about this: 1988 was the zenith at Reno.

    All four classes had full fields. Three of the four classes set new qualifying records. Two of the four classes set new speed records in their respective Championship heats.
    Yes! this is great
    "young" Thomas

  4. #44
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    With all due respect I disagree with just about everything you said.

    I can in fact create a formula to figure out what makes a successful event. It's what I do for a living as someone who crunches data and turns it into something usable. But to do that I need data. You just mentioned all of these great eras, without actually providing any data. You need to be specific. Why specifically were those eras great? or even more specifically why was a specific year within that era great? Was it because it was a comeback from the previous year? Was it because it was an upset victory? etc. These are all things that data crunchers can go and work magic with, but you've got to provide the information for that to happen. So why were those eras so great?

    The passion for winning absolutely exists, just maybe not in the unlimiteds. The place you find the passion for winning is when people invest time and energy in a class that no one seems to care much about. Jeff Lavelle won for years with no one close to catching him and he still kept coming out. In biplanes the Phantom crew keep putting in the work even though they don't have any challengers. It's Justin Meaders wanting to race without the use of his legs and winning the gold. I have the passion to win. I've been part of Findlay's multi-year pursuit of unseating Jeff and now our goal is to out-qualify Dreadnought. I'm also working on IF1 planes and I've been working on a Biplane the last year.

    And lastly we actually already have what you're talking about. The Sport class is already unlimited. The only thing in effect is the limits on cubic inches. And all that is doing is stopping people from putting an Allison in their Legacy. And for the sake of sanity and keeping costs reasonable, I think that's a good thing. And it really isn't holding anyone back. The only way you could argue that, is if you wanted to build a custom racer with twin 550s, but no one is building that so there is no problem. Outside of that one rule, which isn't even a limitation at the moment, the class is unlimited.

    Again, no disrespect intended.
    No disrespect intended for you either...but by your own admission, you weren't there so you wouldn't understand. Those of us who were have the perspective of what it was 'then' and what it is 'now'. The best you can say is, it is 'different now'. Not better. Not worse. Just 'different'.

  5. #45

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

    I said that I can crunch data, if people who were around then will give it to me. I said that people have passion for air racing and to win just for the sake of winning. I said that Sport is for all intents and purposes unlimited.

    I didn't say it was better or worse.
    "young" Thomas

  6. #46

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

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    I said that I can crunch data, if people who were around then will give it to me. I said that people have passion for air racing and to win just for the sake of winning. I said that Sport is for all intents and purposes unlimited.

    I didn't say it was better or worse.
    Thomas,
    I take no offense to your words I obviously misunderstood the rules of engagement in this thread. 2006 we sold the racer at that point I decided to walk away from the sport I had participated in for 41 years because I had accomplished everything I wanted to do. So I really don't know you or care to know you. We are not communicating with each other. As I see what you are saying you believe that with data you can make competition exist. There are a group of people who come to Reno for the air show and don't need a race. There are those who go for the races and don't care for the air show. I'm not trying to offend you so I won't. However I see that my posts do not fit in the rules of engagement for this thread. I'll see my way out. Have a nice day.
    John Slack

  7. #47
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    My thought was, with enough people commenting I should be able to find a few years that everyone/most people/some mention. I want to focus on those years and look at the number of racers in the fields, the speeds, and how close the racers were to each other. Yes, its a super subjective question, which years were best. However, if I see that 10 people comment on 1991 being a great year, that would be a year I look at to have an idea of what made it great. If I see there were 3 racers running in the 470+s, that would be a good data point. (If I'm not mistaken, '91 was the fastest race with 3 contenders in history, Rare Bear winning, Strega and Tsunami 4 seconds behind, with only .62 sec separating each other. Everyone else was over a minute behind.) Yeah I would call that a great year as all 3 planes were fairly close all week.

    On the flip side, we have 1994 with Rare Bear WAY off the front in qualifying and, well, yeah. (No I don't expect to see 1994 on the list of good years.) Its the late 70s through the early 90s that are interesting. For the most part there aren't a lot of 470+ qualifying speeds let alone race speeds there. Heck, '86 had Dreadnought on pole at 452, Stiletto, at 437 and Tsunami at 435 for qualifying, but the race speeds were much slower with Dreadnought winning at 434, Furias at 429, and Strega at 416. Wait a minute, those are about the same speeds we have seen the past few years that everyone is saying "oh its so slow!" Mind you, there were 32 qualifiers, with Carl Scholl at a blistering 248 in last place and Rick Brickert flying Dreadnought on the pole. The Silver unlimited race was pretty close racing, as was the bronze (from 2nd place on down.) So, if '86 pops up multiple times, it wasn't great because of the speeds, it wasn't even that close of a race in any of the unlimited races. Perhaps it was great because of the number of planes in the field. (Big fields = good race years, even if they aren't fast, or really that close?)

    This is kinda how I want to go about looking at the races. What do the "good years" all have in common? Clearly its possible to have a good or even great year without having speeds over 450, let alone over 480. Following 2011 (32 qualifiers) the unlimited fields shrank to 19 in '12, then kept shrinking from there. As the Unlimited field shrank, the Sport class grew, but only from 2011 on.

    I need specific years, but once I see repeated years listed, I can go look at those repeated years, and look at field size, speed, ect. Subjectiveness doesn't really matter if there are stand out years that multiple people chose, as there was something that made those years great. That is what I want to try to find. Was it speed, field size, competitiveness in the fields or, perhaps simply the people who were racing that year? Once I have some data points, I can start another threat and post those data points so they can be dissected with further discussion.

    Will

  8. #48
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Thomas,
    I take no offense to your words I obviously misunderstood the rules of engagement in this thread. 2006 we sold the racer at that point I decided to walk away from the sport I had participated in for 41 years because I had accomplished everything I wanted to do. So I really don't know you or care to know you. We are not communicating with each other. As I see what you are saying you believe that with data you can make competition exist. There are a group of people who come to Reno for the air show and don't need a race. There are those who go for the races and don't care for the air show. I'm not trying to offend you so I won't. However I see that my posts do not fit in the rules of engagement for this thread. I'll see my way out. Have a nice day.
    No, data can't make competition exist, but it can show what good competition looks like. Full fields with qualifying records being broken in several classes obviously says '88 was an exceptional year, yet the Sunday results actually look almost boring compared to the qualifying speeds. RB at 456 (down from the qualifying record of 474) second place finishing a little under its qualifying speed, and 3rd well off the pace, with 3 DNFs.) The Silver race looked pretty good, not super fast, but the top finishers would have beaten the back of the Gold finishers (potentially) The Bronze was really interesting in that multiple racers cut pylons, with Skip Holm collecting a 48 second penalty for cutting 4,5 and 6 on lap 5, yet I'd have to guess that was an entertaining race to watch. Looking at the Bipes, F1s, and T6s, all had big fields and all were close to qualifying speeds on Sunday, with close racing through all the heats.

    I'd say '88 was a great year due to large fields in all the races, multiple qualifying records being broken, and in all the fields aside from the Unlimited Gold, everyone ran hard or popped trying. As for the Unlimited gold, was it a lack of Tsunami pushing Rare Bear that resulted in Bear waltzing around the course with Dreadnought pretty much running flat out, but not fast enough to actually push the Bear that resulted in the rather average race speeds on Sunday? (No reason to run fast if you don't have to.) This is where the first hand knowledge comes into play. I was there, but I was a whole 9 years old and was literally a kid turned loose in the most awesome candy store ever. I was trying to take everything in, but I couldn't tell you who won what. (I do remember having to mow a lot of lawns to be able to afford a pit pass to get into the pits.)

    There is a whale of data out there that can be looked at, but the personal recollections of specific years help fill in what actually happened allowing for the data to be correctly interpreted. Sure, someone could enter all the data available on RARA's web site into a computer and ask it to spit out results. I'm not that clever with a computer, and without the personal insight from the people that were there, I might overlook things, or misinterpret the data that I find. (Such as the result in '88 with RB running an average speed, due to Tsunami not being in the race and Dreadnought not being fast enough to push any faster.)

    Will

  9. #49

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    No, data can't make competition exist, but it can show what good competition looks like. Full fields with qualifying records being broken in several classes obviously says '88 was an exceptional year, yet the Sunday results actually look almost boring compared to the qualifying speeds. RB at 456 (down from the qualifying record of 474) second place finishing a little under its qualifying speed, and 3rd well off the pace, with 3 DNFs.) The Silver race looked pretty good, not super fast, but the top finishers would have beaten the back of the Gold finishers (potentially) The Bronze was really interesting in that multiple racers cut pylons, with Skip Holm collecting a 48 second penalty for cutting 4,5 and 6 on lap 5, yet I'd have to guess that was an entertaining race to watch. Looking at the Bipes, F1s, and T6s, all had big fields and all were close to qualifying speeds on Sunday, with close racing through all the heats.

    I'd say '88 was a great year due to large fields in all the races, multiple qualifying records being broken, and in all the fields aside from the Unlimited Gold, everyone ran hard or popped trying. As for the Unlimited gold, was it a lack of Tsunami pushing Rare Bear that resulted in Bear waltzing around the course with Dreadnought pretty much running flat out, but not fast enough to actually push the Bear that resulted in the rather average race speeds on Sunday? (No reason to run fast if you don't have to.) This is where the first hand knowledge comes into play. I was there, but I was a whole 9 years old and was literally a kid turned loose in the most awesome candy store ever. I was trying to take everything in, but I couldn't tell you who won what. (I do remember having to mow a lot of lawns to be able to afford a pit pass to get into the pits.)

    There is a whale of data out there that can be looked at, but the personal recollections of specific years help fill in what actually happened allowing for the data to be correctly interpreted. Sure, someone could enter all the data available on RARA's web site into a computer and ask it to spit out results. I'm not that clever with a computer, and without the personal insight from the people that were there, I might overlook things, or misinterpret the data that I find. (Such as the result in '88 with RB running an average speed, due to Tsunami not being in the race and Dreadnought not being fast enough to push any faster.)

    Will
    We usually talked with Lyle on the crew frequency and gave him splits, at the top of the course, and the bottom of the course. If Lyle had a plus three seconds split there was no need to go any faster. Less than a plus three and he would do what was necessary to open it up. We never wanted to give everything away. However one race we did. Dwight Thorn and I discussed that one moment years later when I worked for him. Anybody know that year? And why?
    John Slack

  10. #50
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    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    N
    I'd say '88 was a great year due to large fields in all the races, multiple qualifying records being broken, and in all the fields aside from the Unlimited Gold, everyone ran hard or popped trying. As for the Unlimited gold, was it a lack of Tsunami pushing Rare Bear that resulted in Bear waltzing around the course with Dreadnought pretty much running flat out, but not fast enough to actually push the Bear that resulted in the rather average race speeds on Sunday? (No reason to run fast if you don't have to.) This is where the first hand knowledge comes into play. I was there, but I was a whole 9 years old and was literally a kid turned loose in the most awesome candy store ever. I was trying to take everything in, but I couldn't tell you who won what. (I do remember having to mow a lot of lawns to be able to afford a pit pass to get into the pits.)
    With all due respect to the Benevolent Dictator of Rarebearland, the reason there was not a race on Sunday can be laid directly on the shoulders of Mr. Moneybags. Recall, if you will, that Steve Hinton set a blistering new speed record in Tsunami while winning Saturday's Gold Heat. After coming back into the pits there was a rather one-sided conversation from the pilot to the owner to "not touch a damn thing, it's PERFECT".

    But we know that Mr. Moneybags could never settle for anyone, let alone his pilot, telling him not to tinker on his toy....so imagine everyone's dismay when they came into the pits on Sunday morning to find the owner adjusting the jets in the carb and making a few tweaks to 'make it even faster'.

    Pilot was NOT happy, and pilot was right...because the adjustments drowned the engine out in the final and Tsunami was a rather distant third.

    If it had been left as-is, I don't know if Tsunami would have been able to outrun a healthy Bear...but it would have been quite the time finding out.

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