2107 Reno Air Races
2017 is shaping up to be another weak year for the Jet Class. Once again the Warbirds of Delaware Reno record holders, Race 77 Viper, and Race 2 Pipsqueak remain banned…basically for speeding. The ban on modified engines is unfortunately supported by both The Race Association and the Jet Class. It seems the jet racers with stock L-39’s don’t want the competition. Better for them, worse for Reno racing.
Joe Gano will once again fall back on his faithful backup, Race 6 SLUGGO. Joe always seems to manage to coax enough performance out of SLUGGO to finish better than several faster jets.
Warbirds of Delaware affiliated racers, Jon Socolof and Bob McCormack will both be racing Soko Galeb G2’s this year. Both aircraft are in the process of getting prepared for racing by John Hammond’s shop in Salt Lake City, Utah. Once dialed in, we expect the Soko’s to be 500 MPH racers. With luck, we’ll see the two dueling it out for the win.
The Unlimited situation continues to deteriorate. Attendance has been dropping steadily since 2011. This year no aircraft showed up at Pylon Racing school, a first. Apparently, efforts to expand the class to include stock fighters have not been working. The T-6 class is faring somewhat better, but their numbers also continue to drop.
The bright spot from an attendance standpoint is the Sport Class. As they have for the last few years, the Sports descended upon Pylon Racing school like a swarm of locusts. The class appears also to be gaining in fan popularity.
Warbirds of Delaware has offered to help with bringing electric planes to Reno, but the Race Association has shown little interest to date.