Winds Cancel Reno Final


Steve Hinton won the big title at the National Championship Air Races in Reno on Sunday but it wasn’t the way he wanted to win. “It’s more than kind of disappointing,” the 23-year-old Hinton told the Reno Gazette-Journal. The final race of the Unlimited Class was cancelled because of high winds (southwest gusts to 30 knots) so Hinton won based on his final qualifying time in Strega, a highly modified P-51 that earned its ninth title with this race. It’s the first time in the 47-year history of the event that the marquee race has been cancelled. “It was a safety issue,” said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our pilots.”

The gusty winds also cancelled the T-6 final so Dennis Buehn won based on his Saturday time. Hinton said the crews save their best for the finals and winning based on a qualifying time is not satisfying. “Every one of these crews up here bust their asses 365 days a year to come out and show what you’ve done with the airplane and to compete. As the racing process goes, you’re building up to Sunday, so what we used yesterday or what Rare Bear used yesterday isn’t necessarily all we had. We were saving it for Sunday and when you don’t get to go out there and use what you built up all year, it’s a major disappointment.”

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