Saturday Sport Gold Heat

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Crew Chief Andy Chiavetta gets a head start on the post-race briefing with Lynn Fahrnsworth as Saturday’s Sport Gold racers are towed back to the hangar.
Crew Chief Andy Chiavetta gets a head start on the post-race briefing with Lynn Fahrnsworth as Saturday’s Sport Gold racers are towed back to the hangar.

Sport Gold class racers just finished their Saturday afternoon heat race, and as expected everyone went just fast enough to finish where they needed. More unexpectedly several competitors dropped out.

Up front Jeff LaVelle continued to set the pace, albeit 7 mph faster than yesterday at 384 mph. His Glasair III has been the one to beat all week, and considering the same combination has won Gold races here in Reno well in excess of 400 mph LaVelle seems able to dial in whatever speed is necessary at the moment.

John Parker tagged right along with LaVelle at first, but then no doubt contemplating Sunday’s feature race, settled into essentially the same pace as yesterday at 377 mph

As the race strung well out, David Sterling was far behind the leading duo, but solidly in a lonely third. His new Whirlwind prop was part of a 359 mph pace.

Fourth went to Andrew Findlay at a—for him—lackadaisical 346 mph. We haven’t had a chance to speak with Andrew post-race, but considering his One Moment Racing team was up until 4:30 a.m. last night changing number 6 cylinder, there’s no end of issues possible.

Airshow coverage sponsor:

Relentless with Kevin Eldredge on the stick lead the naturally-aspirated Gold racers at 326 mph in fifth, with Bob Mills and alternate Vince Walker finishing at 321 and 300 mph respectively for sixth and seventh.

Vince got to race because Gary Mead, Lynn Fahrnsworth and Peter Balmer all officially did not start. Lynn reported fluctuating fuel pressure;  We were unable to talk to the other two.

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Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

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