...Sport Class (Airplanes You, Too, Could Fly ... Sort Of) ...

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The fastest Sport Class plane to date came out of forced retirement on Wednesday and broke the 350-mph barrier. John Parker's V-12 powered Thunder Mustang, Blue Thunder, qualified at 349.507, and ran a reported 354 in the heat race Thursday. Making things interesting were the friendliest of deadly rivals, Lee Behel and Mike Jones. Behel flies a Lancair Legacy with a Continental 550. Jones got stuck in traffic in qualifying, and posted a disappointing 291 mph, to Lee's 312, but as Behel said, "You won't find two more closely matched planes out here." "Most innovative" award in the class has to go to the quick White Lightning of Will Mathews. In the back-seat area, Mathews has installed a 60-hp two-stroke engine, just to run the supercharger. It's unusual ("and it's really noisy in there," Mathews told us) but effective.