Hi Race Nuts!
I have published the web site for probably the last time for this year.
There is a new Chairman's Word as well as a neat page you can reach from a link on the Member's Page.
Check out the Membership Location Map at
This is a Google Map with a marker for every member on the roles at present.
I'll admit now that this is probably only 60% accurate as for many of you I have only a street address, not Home Base.
I've done my best at web research of your names and guessing to provide an accurate marker, but if I've erred, just shoot
me a note to [email protected] or [email protected] with the actual location of your hangar, and I'll update the
I think you'll find the groupings of racers interesting...
And speaking of groups, if you aren't the only racer based at your field, you can keep zooming in and eventually the multiple
markers should break out. My own Taylor airport is an example, as well as Pecan Plantation (which, btw, you can't tell is
an airport by looking at the map - you have to switch to satellite view and then you can see the runway).
The map was a lot of work to put together, but worth it I think...
And lastly, some of you labor under the misconception that I've pressed my bride into service as SARL embroider-er. The
fingers that load the bobbins and thread the needles are the very same that are now tapping this keyboard. Hey! I am not without
So until we meet again (April if not sooner), you all stay well, fly safe, and keep warm!
The Taylor 100 has come and gone and was a great success – IMHO.
Thanks again to everyone who came and ran and made it the success that it was.
Next up: US Air Race!
and then Air Venture Cup!
Due to family commitments I won’t make either of those races, but will be watching for the results closely!
I think it was Bob Axsom (Race 71!) who mentioned that having a “Who’s In” list of registered
racers stimulated anticipation and more participation in the race. I intend to
create similar lists for each of the additional races this season – with your help.
Since I’m not directly involved with the administration of many of the other races, I thought up a way that
we can still have that information.
For each race on the Calendar Of Events, the title links to a page where you will see three links:
“I am racing!”
“Who’s In”, and
a link to the race URL (USAR, AVC, BCAF, etc.)
If you select “I am racing!” you’ll get a familiar screen that allows you to submit your name
and race number, and that will give me the information to create the Who’s In list.
* For USAR, AVC, BCAF and GPAR this DOES NOT ENTER YOU IN THE RACE. It’s just informational.
If you select the “Who’s In” link, you’ll get a list of racers who have registered for
that race, by class. This will be similar to what I published for the Taylor
If you select the race link, you’ll go to the home page for that particular race – USAR, AVC, whichever
race you selected on the Calendar Of Events.
In this way you will be able to see against whom you will be running in the race.
Of course the accuracy of that list depends on whether folks use it… so as in all things, we get out of it
what we put into it.
If you didn’t see my last email, there is a new page on the SARL site.
Bob Axsom suggested we have an archive of speed records set at our various races.
We kicked it around some and I came up with the results you can see on The Record Book page.
Take a look – maybe one day you’ll be listed there!
Some very exciting developments for upcoming races! The Big Country
Air Fest Air Race in Abilene on 18 August is going to be a blowout! Bring your
bride to this one, folks, and plan to stay overnight. Maybe two.
Gray Bridwell is the organizer for the BCAF and he’s going all out to make this the most memorable race of
With the USAR and AirVenture Cup races being “away” races, Abilene is the first race back in Texas. Appropriately, we’re calling this our “Homecoming Race”.
As with all homecomings, we’re having a dance!
Friday evening, arrivals to the field can either camp with the plane, or stay in a hotel, and get this –
the first 10 race registrations who want a room, stay free! Friday night, Saturday
night, OR BOTH!
Not only that, but those same first 10 registrations will receive 20 gallons of free fuel for the trip home!
NOT ONLY THAT, but there will be cars available for the crews to use getting back and forth from the hotel. Not one for everyone, of course, so we’ll have to “car pool” back
Saturday is prep the planes and race! Same basic rules as Taylor,
117 NM triangular course, airports for turn points, so check the winds and your race tactics!
Saturday evening is the BCAF SteakFest and Homecoming dance. Awards
will be presented at that time to the first two places in class, as well as to the racer who traveled the furthest to race
(based on EAA Flight Planner Great Circle Direct routing – doesn’t count if you make a detour on the way).
After the awards, Gray has a band lined up to entertain us with a mix of music, so there’s sure to be something
to fit everyone’s dance skills.
Sunday, up early and launch for home.
How’s THAT for a weekend? Even better if you place or WIN! Not quite an all-expenses-paid vacation to beautiful Abilene, Texas – but close, if you register early.
Nobody leaves empty-handed though, as SARL points will be awarded to all who run (and finish, Don!).
In other racing news, Steven Volovsek (Race 10!) is getting busy preparing the Great Pumpkin Air Race of 2007. This race will be held in Virginia in October (when else?).
Good luck to all competitors in the USAR and AVC events!
Tailwinds and safe flights…
See you at the races!
- Mike Thompson, Race 26!
The Taylor 100 is just two weeks away!
At present there are 26 aircraft signed up - to be led
off by Duncan Sutherland who will fling his SX300 around the course at 300 MPH.
Greg Nelson is bringing Scott Seabourn along from California as the
Rocket contengent. Greg, you may recall, flew to a First Overall in the Rocket
100 last year - but he'll have
some stiff competition in this race.
James Redmon (Berkut 360), Larry Henney (Lancair 360),
and the Hammer brothers (Glasair TDs) aren't going to let anyone walk away with anything, I suspect.
Race Preparation proceeds madly. Timing will be done exclusively by Collins GPS Timers at start, mid-course and finish.
Each time will be used to update a website where the final
calculations will be done.
If all goes to plan, you will know your speed and place
(so far) when you land.
If not, you'll be forced to wolf down a hambuger and wait
for the results, while grading the landings of your competitors...
Life could be worse.
Coincidently we expect 26 people at the Friday (18th)
night Meet and Greet.
One of the racers coming in Saturday morning asked, "Save
some BS for me"... I'm sure there'll be plenty to go around!
Wanted to mention that we have a donor for end-of-year
trophies, so if you plan to aggressively work the point system this year, you WILL take home some hardware for your efforts.
We are planning to have the Mayor of Taylor starting the
race - Mark Frederick will babysit and manage the start, but the Mayor will wave the flag.
Please don't hit him.
I have received approval from the Airport Manager for
you to pitch a tent on the infield if you prefer. Don't know how reservations
at the the motel across the street are holding up, but this might be a cheep alternative - if you like plane camping, that
While we have a head, we can't offer showers.
Hotel Tango 74 is open.
- Mike Thompson, Race 26!
I don’t know about you, but we here in Texas just had snow for Easter!
Well - I, myself, only had sleet – but it was snowing not far North... Winter’s last hurrah, I think. I
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to put ATV together for the Taylor 100 race. There’s interest in the Ham community, just not enough of the right equipment available.
My back-up plan is a mid-course timer (Collins Timer) with ham radio relay back to the airport for real time enroute
speeds and ranking.
The plan is to display the spreadsheet via digital projector as we update based on incoming radio calls as each
This plan is contingent on some testing we need to do this week and weekend on the suitability of the repeaters
in the area. Unlimited-minute cell phones are my back-up for that. We’ll see.
Aim high - and see where the round falls.
We do still plan to have professional quality photography at Turn Three, so smile big!
SARL membership has grown to 69 and the Taylor 100 registration is up to 21 racers, with only FAC 3 points uncontested.
Remember that we’ll have a “Meet and Greet” barbeque on Friday the 18th at my hangar
(C3) at T74, 1800. Is that what I said last?
I don’t remember…<scratch, scratch> yeah, 1800’s good.
I’ll be out there all day waxing Race 26! anyway, so show up when you like.
I have some vacation time blocked out for Sun and Fun this year, so might see some of you there. We’ll be plane-camping. I’ll be looking for you…
Have a great April, and see you at the races!
- Mike Thompson, 12 April, 2007
It appears that SARL is off to a good start. With 50 members registered and only 2 months to go until the first race, I
think we're going to have a good 2007 season.
I'll soon be opening up registration for the Taylor 100 to non-SARL members - 13 aircraft have registered thus far, and
the stage is set for a shoot-out between Power and Grace.
Not to say that the Rocket is not a pretty plane, but you have to admit that the Lancair has some nice lines.
It ought to be interesting to see the outcome between Race 22 and Race 36, who finished 7 MPH apart in the Rocket 100 last
year. Of course they're running in different classes, so it's a friendly shoot-out.
Some interesting things are happening behind the scenes - I'm working with some radio Hams to see if we can cobble together
some Amateur TV coverage at the turns so we can show the race on monitors back at the hangar at Taylor. We may have to orbit
an aircraft mid-way between Caldwell and Taylor to act as an in-flight relay station. Some local Hams are investigating the
problems and are excited about the challenge. There's no Internet available at the turns and broad band cellular is restricted
from streaming video... so we'll see.
Even if that coverage doesn't work out, be sure and smile big for the camera at Turn 3. Fly as low as the FAA and your
nerves will allow, and the Race Photographer will endeavor to get a nice picture.
For those of you interested in running in the US Air Race event(s), I've had some clarification of the status of SARL (AKA
Cash and other awards will depend on how many aircraft enter each race, and will be awarded separately from the handicapped
aircraft. I expect you can choose which way you want to run - with GPS coordinates or handicapped with stopwatch and mag compass.
It's all racing - it's all fun!
As a Performance entry, you'll get turn coordinates, a fastest-first start order, use of your Race number if at all possible
and if you place, points towards your 2007 League total.
Spring it springing (in most places), and it's time to continue tweaking those airframes and powerplants!
See you at the races!
- Mike Thompson, 7 March, 2007
Welcome to S.A.R.L.!
This organization is the result of the Rocket 100 Air Race held in Taylor, Texas in November of 2006.
After we ran that race, had such a great time and had a great lunch with great racing people, I thought:
"Why haven't we done this before?", and
"Why don't we do more of it?".
And so I decided to take a shot at making it happen.
Contact and discussions with Cam Benton, Gray Bridwell, and Eric Whyte were met with great enthusiasm, and so I took the
next step - creating this web site.
Next will be to make it public, invite racers and then we'll see what interest the first year holds.
My hope is to have a membership list of every aircraft owner in the country who in interested in racing their plane.
Further, I hope to engender interest in "Sport Class", Open Course racing, and hosting races.
By "Sport Class" I mean primarily experimental aircraft - but I'd like to see Bonanzas and Mooneys duking it out on the
course as well! What's the fastest production ship? Come out and prove it!
Organizationally, we have pretty much figured out how to run a safe race and have a good time, and do it all with volunteers.
For the most part, members of SARL will race for the glory - which is good, because I don't expect there to be much, if
Now, I don't expect to be the Bill France of Sport Air Racing, but wouldn't it be great if folks could take their pick
from at least one race, in one state, every month of the year?
Now THAT'S a goal!
If anyone, anywhere, at anytime has a suggestion how to improve the League or increase interest, please drop me an email
at [email protected]
- Mike Thompson, 11 February, 2007