Sport Air Racing League!

The Mission
The Classes
Becoming a Member
2013 Members Page
Contact Us
Calendar of Events!
Newsletter Archive
Media Page
Race Kit
Race Memories
Race Software
Records and Stats
Quick Start Guide
Our Sponsors
Food For Thought

/***********  2011 ***********/


No updates in 2010


Greetings, Race Nuts.

This weekend is the Tennessee Valley Pumpkin Dash and Air Race in Courtland, Alabama.

This race's timing will be a bit different, registration starts at noon, then the dash will run from 1300 to 1500 with the cross country race to start as soon as the dash is over.

By Saturday, high pressure should dominate the central United States and great weather is expected.

The temps are forecast to be 56F for the high and 36F for the low. Brrr...!

Dress and pack accordingly.

This race we are going to do some cool techie things that you may be interested in - especially for those of you who cannot be at the race.

First, we are going to have the scoring sheet on line and you will be able to watch from your internet-connected computer as we enter times and compute speeds for the race(s).

If you will direct your browser to the following URL starting at, oh, 1300 Saturday:

You will be looking at a Google Doc web site, and specifically at the TVAR II race results.

There are four sheets to this spreadsheet - the tabs are at the bottom. they are:

Cross Country Race Results: This will be the summary after the speeds are calculated. You can watch this sheet as the speeds come in, or

Cross Country Race Worksheet: This will be the actual sheet where we're entering start and finish times.

Cross Country Race Start Order: This is a static sheet that just shows the entries in their start order. This may change once we get everybody together.

Speed Dash Worksheet: This will be the computation worksheet for the Speed Dash.

So keep a browser open to that url to "watch" the race! The sheets will update every few seconds!

If you want to really watch the race (well, some of it) direct another browser to

This is a "channel" I have created on a website that provides a free, basic video streaming service. We will have a video camera there and we will be limited only by our ability to make an internet connection with the FBO's wireless LAN. This means we won't be able to go very far beyond the hangar... but we'll show you everything we can. We may even set the thing up to webcast the awards ceremony.

Be prepared to curl up with your computer Saturday afternoon and join the festivities! We don't know how well this will come off, but we won't know until we try!

It's not too late to make the race, either! Come join us in making SARL history!

As you make your way to Alabama, remember or write down our contact numbers so you can let us know about cancellations or trouble enroute:

Mike Thompson - 512-663-2184

Chris Murphy - 970-219-9295

Oh - one more URL for you. I will be running my SPOT tracker all day, so you can watch me fly from Taylor to Courtland Saturday morning - I expect to launch around 0800 - and then during the race I'll have it on. The positition reports only go out every 10 minutes, so this race will have a half-dozen or so including taxi and such. We're busily working on alternatives for next year's races!

Anyway, keep track of El Lento here:

If anyone else has and will run their SPOT tracker, shoot me the URL and I'll publish it for you.

It's been a goal of mine from day one of this organization to make our sport more "publicly accessible". We're taking the baby steps beginning this weekend, and you can help through your participation and feedback.

Let us know how it goes from the "audience" perspective!

- Mike



SARL has stepped up the effort to get in the news and increase awareness of our activities.

I wanted to let you know of a couple of successes on that front, one in the form of an EAA eNews mention, and one in the form of an article on Tom Martin from his home town paper.

Way to go, Tom!

For you viewing pleasure, they are both reprinted here, with links.


- Mike

SARL Gets EAA Press!

(scroll to near bottom)

Go to EAA.orgLearn more about your member benefitsRenew your EAA membershipSupport EAA

EAA e-Hotline

The seventh air race in the National Championship Series of the Sport Air Racing League concluded this week, with 23 racers from as far away as Ontario and Louisiana. The race is a two-turn, 100-mile course at speeds approaching 300 miles per hour. The overall winner in the experimental class was Duncan Sutherland of Alto, New Mexico, who flew his Swearingen SX300 at a speed of 285.7 mph, while Jack Peck of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, took the production class win, flying a Mooney M20M to a course speed of 221.9 mph. For more information contact Mike Thompson at 512-663-2184 or visit

Tom Martin Gets Press!

Elgin pilot races to gold

Posted By ERIC BUNNELL, Times-Journal

Tom Martin's custom-built EVO F1 Rocket is as fast as its name sounds -- but the sleek two-seat, single-prop aircraft still has room for luggage.

Which is good, considering Martin had carry-on on Sunday.

The Central Elgin farmer, airplane builder, pilot and racer brought back gold after winning his class Saturday at a Sport Aircraft Racing League race in Pagosa Springs, Colo.

He also was third overall at the meet, which attracted 24 entries including Martin's and one other Canadian, from the area of Kitchener, Ont.

Competing against three other aircraft in his class -- 550-cubic-inch engine with fixed landing gear -- Martin flew the three, 106-nautical-mile legs of a triangular course at 220.5 knots. That's 408 km-h.

He also beat four other aircraft classed with higher speeds than his.

"I feel pretty good about that," Martin laughed Tuesday.

"It raised a lot of eyebrows."

Martin, 54, has been flying since 1982 and built the first of nine aircraft he has assembled, in '93.

"I'm a tinkerer," he said.

He completed his current racer in 2005 and enters two or three races a year. In spring, he won at an Alabama meet.

Flying in the Rockies on a race course over terrain with an elevation varying from 7,600 to 9,500 feet, Martin said the Colorado meet was unlike any he has flown.

"It's a totally different race."

Fortunately, calm weather kept mountain turbulence to a minimum.

Martin flew to Colorado in 7-1/2 hours with brother-in-law Jean-Marc Dubois his passenger. Pushed by tail winds, the return leg of the 5,000-kilometre trip was one hour shorter.

They had to fly over the Rockies to get to Pagosa Springs, at heights up to 15,500 feet. That meant oxygen masks for the two men in the unpressurized Rocket.

Martin, who has a private airstrip on his Edgeware Line farm, began flying after watching aircraft at nearby St. Thomas Municipal Airport.

In addition to racing, he and wife, Diane, tour, and have completed trips to both the West and East coasts.

Martin is competing in Alabama on Oct. 17.



It has come to my attention that I have been remiss in not updating this page.

The race number leasing fee scheme did not work out, and insurance was not bought.

As a result, you may see increased requirements at races for proof of insurance and such, varying from race to race.

For potential new members checking us out, there is (still) no annual membership fee associated with League membership.



Greetings, Race Nuts.

I hope this finds you all well and warm and anxious for the race season to begin.

The Taylor 100 Air Race page is live, and you may begin scoping out the course and signing up if you wish.

We've added a race in Arizona - the Thunderbird 200 hosted by Dennis Collins, Race 90 - to be run on Labor Day weekend.
The race will run on Sunday the 6th of September to allow folks to use Saturday morning to fly in, and Monday morning to fly back out.
You don't want to be flying around in the mountains after about 10AM, so doing our normal race in the AM and depart after lunch would not be optimal.

Adding this race to our schedule brings the total number of races to be run this year to 14 (!) and is an indication of our growth as an organization.

Along with the growth, however, comes growing pains, and there are those who think we've been too lucky too long (remember that 22 races and over 3,000 race miles statistic?) - hence I have sought an insurance policy to cover our race hosts against suit.

In order to cover the cost of the policy, we will borrow another page from the NASCAR organization and that is the concept of "leasing" our race numbers from the Sport Air Racing League.

Henceforth, at the beginning of each year everyone will have the opportunity to lease their race number for the year.  I have set the cost at $100/yr.

Note that a race number leasing fee scheme does not preclude the SARL membership of folks who don't race - or don't race yet - at no charge.
If you are building and want to have a particular race number when you start competing, you are welcome to lease that number to keep it reserved, or wait until you're ready to go and choose an available number then.  We have several people like Pat Purcell and Eric Whyte who are just race nuts and don't own a plane.  As they won't be racing and competing for championship points, there is no "membership" fee.

I looked at other options before making this decision (which those of you who know me know I did NOT make lightly) such as having each racer get an "additional insured" letter from their insurance company for each race they attend.  Some of you are with companies that don't charge for this service no matter how many times a year you get a letter - and maybe an approach is to have everyone consider changing their insurance policy to that company, whichever it is.  For me, each letter would incurr a $75 dollar charge, so I am much better off to kick $100 into the SARL insurance kitty as my leasing fee for Race 26 once a year and attend as many races as I want.  It might also be that my insurance is so little with my current company that moving to a company that does NOT charge for additional insured letters would increase my insurance premium enough to more than offset the leasing fee.  Everyone's situation will vary.

I will make the site updates for active race numbers when I make the update for the results of the 14 March race.  This means you have the month of February and half of March to decide if you want to lease your race number for 2009 and send a check for $100 made out to Sport Air Racing League, or let your race number go back into the available number pool. 

I know we will lose members due to this decision and I will be sorry about every single one who decides to leave the League.  I believe the step is necessary for our continued growth; for more folks to feel safe in taking on the responsibility of hosting a race, and ultimately expanding available races from coast to coast.

I hope you will join me in taking this step forward.

- Mike


And Now, The Moment You've All Been Waiting For!

The 2009 Race Season Schedule of Races is available!

The Calendar of Events page has been populated, but here it is, in short:

14 March, Taylor 125, Taylor, TX
4 April, West Texas 100, Lubbock, TX
2 May, BCAF, Abilene, TX
2 May, Palmetto 125, Ridgeland, SC
30 May, Texoma 100, Sherman, TX
20 June, Denton 100, Denton, TX
26 July, AVC, Dayton, OH
22 August, RMFI, Denver, CO
26 September, Pagosa Springs 100, Pagosa Springs, CO
3 October, Grace Flight, Sherman, TX
17 October, Memphis 100, Memphis, TN

21 November, Rocket 100, Taylor, TX

If I may point out some new additions to the circuit:
John Huft will host a race at Pagosa Springs, Colorado on 26 September, and
Lee Logan will host a SARL companion race to the "Race To Ridgeland", or "R2R" handicap race in Ridgeland, South Carolina on 2 May.  The race is to be called the Palmetto 125 and is NOT a handicap race.
This is the current schedule, but watch the Calendar of Events page for updates as we go through the year.

Also, there is a rule change for you to be aware of, the description of which has been added to The Mission page.
I will quote it here:

2009 Update: Bonus Points!   In addition to placing points, each racer will be awarded an additional 10 points for each aircraft (in class) that he beats.  e.g. First place in class flying as the only one in the class garners 100 points.  First place in class and beating two other aircraft in class garners 120 points.  Bonus Points apply to all finish positions. 

As we expand the number of races the likelihood of single-ship-in-class races increases.  Bonus Points will hopefully encourage everyone to not only come out to race, but bring a friend - one who runs in the same class - and then BEAT THEM! 
The more competition you beat, the bigger the reward!

I expect 2009 to be an even better race year than 2008 - and it will be so because of you.
Many of you have become seasoned racers, and many of you are on your way to becoming such.
All of you have boundless enthusiasm which you bring to every race, but which you temper with careful and deliberate operation of your aircraft.  Due to that alone, in two years you have flown 22 separate races and over 3,000 race miles with nary a scratch.  Thank you, and congratulations!

Let's keep that record rolling in 2009!

2008 Newsletter Archive

2007 Newsletter Archive

Test Of Video

Race #NameAircraftClass
Race 17Bob HutterGlasair IIISport
Race 74Duncan SutherlandSX300"Shadow"Sport
Race 79Jim RobinsonGlasair III"Fastglass"Sport
Race 300Douglas HumbleGlasair IIISport
Race 43Bob MillsRocketRocket SixSport FX
Race 91Bruce HammerGlasair I TD"Red Dog"FX Blue
Race 37Red HamiltonTailwindFX Red
Race 18John HuftRV-8"Nuisance"RV Gold
Race 26Mike ThompsonRV-6 "El Lento"RV Blue
Race 391Jason RoveyRV-8RV Blue
Race B4USeth BakerRV - 7RV Red
Race 41Cam BentonRV-4RV Red
Race 345Larry HawkinsRV-4"Yellow Fever"RV Red
Race 448Jim PorterSR20"Plane Jane"FAC3FX
Race 456Ann Elise BennettC-182"X Ray"FAC3FX