Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today
Menu

'Strega' dethrones 'Voodoo' at Reno air races‘Strega’ dethrones ‘Voodoo’ at Reno air races

Strega, long a fan favorite P-51D air racer, won the Gold race in the Unlimited Class at the fifty-fourth National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, Sept. 17.

  • James Consalvi's Mustang, "Strega," at right, edged out three-time winner Steve Hinton Jr.'s "Voodoo," left, to win the showcase Unlimited Gold race at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. Consalvi posted a speed of 481.34 mph--only 0.596 mph faster than Hinton--to win the exceptionally close contest. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • Andrew Buehler of Olalla, Washington, flies his Mong Sport "Mistress" in the Biplane Class during the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. He took third place in the Biplane Silver race with a speed of 171.798 mph. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • Vito Wypraechtiger's Cassutt III-M "Scarlet Screamer," right, gains on Philip Goforth's Stratocaster, "Knotty Girl," in a turn during the 2017 National Championship Air Races. Wypraechtiger, Race 50, captured third place in the Formula One Gold championship race, with a speed of 228.65 mph. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • The tight cockpit of Sport Class racer "Martin's Legacy" fits Dave Morss of Redwood City, California, like a glove. With a speed of 265.174 mph--his highest of the week--Morss placed fourth in the Sport Silver race at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • The pilot of a U.S. Air Force A-10 waves after performing a heritage flight at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in formation with a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Markings on the jet's nose indicate that it has seen considerable combat. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • William Muszala of Tucson, Arizona, rakes his SNJ-5 "Miss Ellaneous" around a pylon during the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. His speed of 184.901 mph earned sixth place in the T-6 Bronze race. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • "One Moment," the Lancair Super Legacy raced in the Sport class by Andrew Findlay, wears the colors of 2017 National Championship Air Races sponsor Stihl. Findlay, of Norfolk, Virginia, works for the manufacturer of outdoor power tools. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • Gene McNeely, flying Race 89, "Baby Boomer," puts the moves on Chris LeFave, flying Race 2, "Bare Essentials," in a heat race at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. McNeely placed fourth in the T-6 Gold race. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • Zachary McNeill of Corpus Cristi, Texas, pilots "Stealth"--a de Havilland Vampire--around the course at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. He placed second in the Jet Gold championship race, with an average speed of 471.511 mph. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • Steve Hinton Jr. of Chino, California, flies F-51D Mustang "Voodoo" around the course at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. After winning the Unlimited Gold race in 2013, 2014, and 2016--and not finishing the race in 2015--the airplane lost a close race to James Consalvi's Mustang, "Strega," this year. Photo by Robert Fisher.
  • Flying Race 8, a Hawker Sea Fury named "Dreadnought," Joel Swager of Ione, California, captured third place in the Unlimited Gold race at the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. He clocked an average speed of 419.76 mph. Photo by Robert Fisher.

Pilot James Consalvi’s time of 7:49.774 for the eight-lap race resulted in a speed of 481.34 mph. He was closely followed by last year’s Unlimited Gold-winning combination of Steve Hinton and the P-51D Voodoo, finishing with a time of 7:50.356, for a speed of 480.744 mph.

The two Mustangs were followed by two Sea Furies: Joel Swager’s Dreadnought, and Sawbones piloted by Curt Brown, both of which flew seven laps and turned in respective speeds of 419.76 mph and 411.1 mph.

The rest of the field included two more Sea Furies, Sherman Smoot’s Argonaut, and Mark Watt’s 924; and a Yakovlev 3M, Full Noise, flown by Graeme Frew of Auckland, New Zealand.

Comments posted on Strega’s Facebook fan page relived the Unlimited Gold race’s most thrilling moments as Consalvi maneuvered to achieve a come-from-behind win after Voodoo got off to a better start. Consalvi’s victory built on his second-place showing in 2016, when he averaged 450.582 mph flying a Yakovlev Yak 11, Czech Mate.

Racers in the Jet Class taxi for a practice heat during the 2017 National Championship Air Races in Reno. Photo by Robert Fisher.

In the Jet Class, the L-39 Albatros American Spirit flown by Rick Vandam of Reno took first place, flying six laps in 5:42.292 for a speed of 494.21 mph. Zachary McNeill of Corpus Christi, Texas, flying the Vampire Stealth, one of only two non-L39s in the eight-airplane race, finished second at 471.511 mph.

John Lohmar of Dallas took first place in the T-6 Class Gold race, piloting Radial Velocity to a winning time of 225.47 mph.

A Super Glasair III flown by Jeff LaVelle of Mukilteo, Washington, took Sport Class gold, flying the six laps at 388.313 mph, with Vicky Benzing of Saratoga, California, the runner-up in her Lancair Super Legacy Lucky Too.

The modified Mong Sport biplane Phantom took Biplane Sport Class honors with Andrew Buehler of Olalla, Washington, flying six laps in 4:57.175, or a speed of 226.725 mph, beating out a field consisting of six Pitts S-1s and a Pitts S-LHN.

Eight competitors flew the Formula One Gold race, with Lowell Slatter of Buhl, Idaho, capturing the top spot in Fraed Naught, a Gilbert DG2, taking the eight laps in 6:11.063, which clocked in for a speed of 242.104 mph.

'Strega' won the penutlimate Unlimited Gold race during the fifty-fourth National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, Sept. 17. Here the P-51D taxies for a heat earlier in the week. Photo by Robert Fisher.
Topics: Air Racing

Related Articles