Finals Canceled at Reno Due to High Winds

Steve Hinton declared winner based on the best qualifying time.

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StregaReno Air Racing Association

Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association made the call to cancel flying on Sunday's race day. "It was a safety issue," he said. "Our number one priority is the safety of our pilots." Though he was declared winner based on the best qualifying time, Steve Hinton, 23, said he was "more than 'kind of' disappointed" by the decision. "We were saving [our best] 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." Winds were out of the southwest gusting to 30 knots, causing the first cancelation of the last day's race in its 47-year history. The popular T-6 class final races were also canceled on Sunday. Hinton won in the Unlimited category based on his Saturday qualifying runs in Strega, a highly modified P-51 Mustang. The win marked the ninth for the airplane. The field also included a dozen other Mustangs, two twin-engine Grumman F7F Tigercats, three Hawker Sea Furys, a pair of Russian Yak 3s and a German Focke-Wulf Fw-190. On the Tuesday before official racing even began last week, Curt Brown set a new all-time record, rounding the pylons at a speed of 543.568 mph in his Czech-built Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin jet, bettering his own record set last year by more than 5 mph. Former space shuttle pilot Brown said, "It was a heck of a ride. That was a bucking bronco." For full race results from Reno, go to: reports.airrace.org/.