…Some Reno Firsts: Red Bull Race, Biplanes Beat T-6s

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Something that has never been seen in the U.S. happened at Reno: the Red Bull Air Races. This is a concept developed by Hungarian aerobatic ace Peter Besenyei, infamous for (among other things) flying inverted under Budapest's famed Chain Bridge. The course consists of three laps around a tight course, close to the crowds. Aerobatic pilots perform different maneuvers on each lap, maneuvers that include vertical rolls, passes through 60-foot-tall inflated gates (some are knife-edge! ... and some get hit, by mistake), and a touch-and-go on a 7-foot chalk stripe, all against the clock. Fastest wins. Plus, biplanes are historically the slowest class at Reno, but that changed this year. Tom Aberle ran his Phantom and qualified fastest in 2004, running over 241 mph, noting that the fastest T-6 (Alfred Goss in Warlock) went just over 238.