Saturday Sport Gold Heat

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.

Relentless with Kevin Eldridge 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.

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a professional magazine writer and nurtures an ongoing affair with all things internal combustion. His writing is most often found in automotive magazines, but aviation is his first love. Working as a line boy, he learned to fly while in high school, but still hasn't mastered the art of keeping a paper chart in an open cockpit.

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