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National Championship Air Races 2006

Reno / Nevada

- by Gerhard Schmid, translation by Jurgen Binnemans -

Since 1968 the North American Harvards and Texans turn their rounds around the Pylon course at the National Championship Air Races in Reno. The fastest Qualifier in the first race was Vic Baker with the SNJ-5 "CONDOR II" with 187,830 mph. Today the airplanes of the same class fly 50 mph faster around the course. In 2006 Al Goss reached a qualifying speed of 237,558 mph.

Never boring are the T-6 Races. This is above all due to the exciting overhauling manoeuvres. Due to strict technical specifications the speeds in this class remain very similar. Flying in a group and head to head races over several rounds are more frequent in this class than in any other class.

And if you didn't make it in 2006 to Reno after all - here our    >>>FULL THROTTLE Book

#90 Gentlemen, start your engines....last checks are over, in a minute the Texans and Harvards will taxi towards the Runway.
polish Wouldn't we all like to do it? Polishing the T-6 in the sun between races?
#43 On the taxiway to runway 08: Dennis Buehn in the cockpit of his T-6D #43 "Midnight Miss III". Since 1972 Dennis takes part at the T-6 races. In 1976 he could take the T-6 Race medal for himself. In 2006 Dennis landed with 229,100 mph in second place.
start It rarely occurs that races start the course from western direction. This is how the pack passes the flight line however, after the start.
#444 Jim Booth greets the photographers on the taxiway. The retired airline pilot qualified himself with the ninth-fastest time and reached with 215,296 mph the third place in the T-6 Silver Class.
#42 American Airlines pilot Chris Rushing with the SNJ-4 #42 "Sugarfoot" in the second year of his participation. In 2005 he had the victory in the T-6 Bronze Class, this year he landed in second place - with 217,123 mph.
#8 - #444 Ken Gottschall tries to pass Jim Booth, but in the end he scarcely loses from Jim Bootz with 215,190 mph and takes fourth place in the Silver Medal.
#44 Was already once faster: Wayne Cartwright with the T-6G #44 "Six Shooter" flew 211,709 mph fast and got 8th place in the Silver Medal Race. In 2005 Wayne came with 221,018 mph second in the same class.
#8 Ken Gottschall had his first taste of racing in 2006 in the T-6 Class and was considered a "rookie". The fourth place in the Silver Medal is for Ken with his SNJ-6 a good entrance in the centerfield.
#55 Gary Miller is on the hunt for the victory trophy with hiss SNJ-3 #55 "Trophy Hunter". Unfortunately it didn't work out: sixth place Silver Medal Race with 213,621 mph.
#21 - #77 On the inside Rick Siegfried with his #21 "Hot off The press", in the background Jim Good with his #77 "Wildcatter" trying to pass #21.
#6 Nick Macy was the winner in his T-6G #6 "Six Cat" for the fourth time. With his 235,609 mph he was 20 mph faster than the seventh and last pilot of the Gold Medal Race.
#77 218,587 mph brought Jim Good in #77 "Wildcatter" up to place 6 in the T-6 Gold Medal Race. It is his 20th year as a T-6 Race pilot. Jim reached first place twice - in 1994 in T-6 Bronze and in 2002 in the Silver Class.
#12 In 1998 Tom Martin won T-6 Bronze Race with SNJ-5 #12 "Thumper". In 2006 he only reached 5th place with 203,360 mph in the Bronze Medal Race.
#64 Maintenance work at Keith McManns Harvard IV #64 "Red Knight". Between races time is not only used for repairs but also for fine tuning. Every mph counts...
#20 With the T-6 Bronze Heat 2 on Friday and with the Bronze Medal Race on Saturday Paul Redlich succeeded with his T-6C #20 "Vixen" to reach victory. With the final on Sunday he flew in the Silver Race and reached 5th place.
#64 The #20 "Vixen" with Paul Redlich in the cockpit overtakes Keith McMann in the #64 "Red Knight". Paul went over the finish two seconds faster then Keith and reached 5th place. Keith came in 7th.
#70 Jim Thomas from Livermore, CA, occupied place number one in T-6 Bronze Heat 1 on Thursday. With The Bronze Heat on Sunday he was nearly 6 mph slower and reached third place.
#90 The third place in the Gold Medal Race was for Gene McNeely with his checkered flag design painted T-6C #90 "Undecided II". He was 222.926 mph fast.
#37 John Zayac got only 194.917 mph out of his SNJ-5 #37 on Saturday. The reason was a defect at the landing gear.
race From the view of the spectators: in the first lap all the pilots of the T-6 are still fairly close together. Only gradually the field stretches in length.
#37 With 221,060 mph and thus place no 4 in the T-6 Gold Race: John Zayac with the beautiful highly polished #37 "McDonald Racer ". One earned oneself the peace of the centerfield in the evening...
#1 Jason Somes, started in three Racing classes, here he is qualifying with T-6D #1 "Miss Universe". This machine did not participate anymore in the following T-6 races.

Proceed to... >>>Part 5 (german)



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