Strega Wins Reno

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The highly modified P-51 Strega flown by James Consalvi edged longtime rival Steve Hinton Jr. in Voodoo, another Mustang, in the gold unlimited class final at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, on Sunday, reclaiming the title and spoiling the Voodoo team’s swan song race. Strega covered the 62.8114 miles (eight laps of the pylon course) in 7:49.774 (481.34 mph), less than half a second ahead of Voodoo at 7:50.356 (480.744). The two leaders lapped the rest of the field in the rest and third place went to Joel Swager in Dreadnought, a TMK Sea Fury, who finished only seven of the eight laps at an average speed of 419.760. 

The owners of Voodoo have decided to retire the aircraft from racing but it may not be finished pushing the speed envelope. Hinton flew the aircraft to a record 531 mph in Idaho in early September and in a video interview with AVweb he did not rule out future record attempts, noting the aircraft likely still has some speed to give. Hinton also didn’t rule out his own return to Reno but for now he’s eyeing a challenging but much slower pursuit. He said he’d like to try his hand at sailboat racing.

Rick Vandam won the gold jet class in the L-39 American Spirit while John Lohmar of Dallas won the top spot in the T-6 class. Jeff Levelle, of Mukilteo, Washington, took the sport class in a Super Glasair III while Andrew Buehler, of Olalla, Washington, won the biplane class in modified Mong Sport. The winner of the formula one class was Lowell Slatter, of Buhl, Idaho, in Fraed Nought. Full results are at reports.airrace.com.

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