Thursday, November 30, 2017

Air Race 1 – Thailand 2017

Another amazing race put on by Air Race 1, this time in Thailand; where sixteen racers from all over the world met at U-Tapao Naval Air Base to continue the competition from the Reno Air Races in September for the World Championship.
Jeff Zaltman has been putting on these races for several years now and believes this was the largest crowd to watch a Formula 1 Race – ever. Estimates of over 40,000 spectators have been quoted. We certainly don’t get 40,000 spectators for our early races at Reno!

Tim Cone Overtakes Phil Goforth for the Lead

Tim Cone won and is now the Air Race 1 World Cup Champion. He had some hiccups earlier in the week, but in the Gold Final, he shot passed the competition. The Gold Podium included Justin Phillipson,” No Strings Attached” in Third Place and Philip Goforth of Texas in “Knotty Girl” in Second Place.
Cone’s airplane, a highly modified Cassutt named “What Airplane, Honey”, was named when his wife only realizing he owned the plane when she saw him flying it on TV during the NBC Sports airing of the Reno Air Races. Nice try, Tim!

Justin Phillipson in No Strings Attached

Behind the leaders were 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup winner Thom Richard in “Outrageous” who settled for fourth place and Team Siam Air Racing “Hysteria” flown by Bangkok-based Frenchman, Lionel Mougel finished fifth.
Steve Temple in “Quadnickel”, Ryszard Zadow in “Last Lap Player” and Jerry Marshall rounded out the Gold Final.
Pilots at the Opening Ceremonies

Silver Race
Earlier in the afternoon, Swaid Rahn flying “Heatstroke” was the winner of the Silver Final, finishing ahead of Chip Maples in “Miss USA”. Swaid led the entire race from start to finish.
Afterwards he was quoted as saying, “Thailand has been an awesome experience and we would love to come back.”
Canadian Scott Holmes finished third in ‘Outlaw’, just ahead of Paul Newman in fourth and Kent Jackson in fifth. Trevor Jarvis finished sixth and Des Hart from Scotland, continued his difficult week, with a DNF. Steve Tumlin in his first Thailand Race received a DNS.

More close racing action in Thailand

Other locations?
Discussion has started to have another Air Race 1 event in Ely, Nevada. We were lucky enough to stop by their local airport and discuss how the planning was coming along.
While Ely is far from major cities, they do know how to put on a World Class event. They host the Silver State Classic and Nevada Open Road Challenge each year. For this event the entire town comes out to volunteer or to spectate.  
They are blessed with a beautiful airport – with plenty of flat land for racing and pylons. Multiple runways give pilots lots of options.
More on the Ely Race as we get closer. But, I believe 2018 will be a great year for Air Racing – across the globe!
Special THANKS to Naomi Dschaak, who was lucky enough to go to Thailand and was kind enough to let us use her photos for this month’s column!