Reno Looking Good

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Czech Mate is scheduled to return to Reno’s pylons September 14-18. Longtime Czech Mate stick Sherman Smoot will be in the cockpit.

Got post-AirVenture depression? Fear not, pylon racing at Reno is right around the corner and the entry list has just been posted by the Reno Air Racing Association.

Furthermore, air race fans can take heart that the entry list for the STIHL National Championship Air Races next month is showing definite signs of life across all classes.

In the crowd-pleasing big noise and speed Unlimited class most of the fast runners have succumbed to rising warbird values or been on self-imposed exile saying the purse hasn’t been large enough to justify the expense of competing. But a core of highly-modified or downright experimental Unlimiteds remain stashed in hangars and now we see Czech Mate is returning to give “The Buick,” aka Dreadnought, a 460 mph run for its money. That’s good news, as Czech Mate, which boasts 2,800 cubic inches of Pratt & Whitney muscle in place of its original 700 hp Shvetsov is just the sort of homegrown hot rod that highlights what motivated experimenters can accomplish in this country.

Along more traditional experimental lines the highly competitive Formula One clan is putting up 18 airplanes. They include fast favorites such as defending champion Limitless. Endeavor, Fraed Naught (now flown by Steve Temple) and No Strings Attached.

In Biplanes the all-conquering Phantom is again sitting out this year, so the field is wide open. It includes the quick Miss Gianna, Second Hand, Miss Dianne, Smokin’ Hot along with a veritable platoon of pumped-up Pitts to keep everyone on their toes. One name unfortunately missing on the entry list so far is last year Gold winner Jake Stewart in Bad Mojo.

Airshow coverage sponsor:

In the new STOL Drag class there’s a great opportunity to see back country royalty in action, and without clogging your air filter in the process. The screaming Yee Haw 6 of Steve Henry is coming, along with everyman Harold Stockman’s Lawn Mower III, Kevin Palmer’s Red Rocket along with 19 others.

Finally, in the hugely quick and relevant Sport class 36 aircraft are entered. They—of course—include returning 400 mph champ Jeff LaVelle in his boxy Glasair III, sparring partner Andrew Findlay in the instantly recognizable Stihl-sponsored Lancair Legacy, Jim Rust in he and partner Robby Grove’s Glasair along with a host of long-time regulars such as Tom McNerney.

Jet and T-6 class competition is also lined up, plus a meaningful static display field, big name aerobatic acts and plenty of up close access to the racers and their planes in the pits. We’ll be there!

For more info: https://airrace.org. The races are held at Stead Field, immediately north of Reno, Nevada, September 14-18, 2022.

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