Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sport Air Racing League - Taylor TX

Contributed by Jeff Lee - Live Air Show TV

TAYLOR TX – NOVEMBER 23, 2009 – The Sport Air Racing League held its final event of the season, The Rocket 100, on Saturday November 21st. Lingering low clouds and rain kept most of the racers away until Saturday morning, but shortly after lunch 17 racers had arrived and were ready to race. Sport Racing League organizer Mike Thompson set up a 120 mile course with 6 turns for the 17 planes in 6 different classes. The fastest plane takes off first, and the slowest is last. That way there is less chance of planes getting close to each other. It's a race against the clock.

Thompson said, "We had a race in 2006 that we just put together, and we had such a good time, we decided we should do this more often." That's how the Sport Air Racing League was born. This year there were 11 events in Texas, Tennessee, and Colorado as well as the Race to Oshkosh in July.

The Sport Air Racing League's website says "Racing for the rest of us". Competitor Steve Hammer says, "Everyone's familiar with the Reno Air Races, but that's for the big boys. That's serious money and serious risk. This is more fun flying." Greg Nelson, who's flown his F1 Rocket at Reno says, "It's not formation type strategy, but you've got winds to contend with, turbulence, and bugs, and trust your GPS to take you to the right spot."

The fastest plane at this race was first time racer Dick Gossen in his Glasair III at 264 mph. Gossen said, "It's fun. It's a lot of good people. I've never flown the plane that fast before."

Awards for the top pilots for the entire season were handed out Saturday night. James Porter took the top spot flying his Cirrus SR-20 to a total of 960 points. Stuart Morse took 2nd in his Grumman AA5B with 860 points. And David Adams had the third highest point total in the Rutan Long EZ and 730 points.

The racing series will kick off again next April with a full slate of races around the country. For more information on this year's events and next year's schedule check out www.sportairrace.org. Also, look for a video recap of the event on the LiveAirShowTV page on YouTube.

The Series Champs: James Porter (m), Stuart Morse (l), and David Adams (r).


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