Reno wraps up historic week

RENO — The National Championship Air Races wrapped up its historic 50th event on Sunday afternoon with a Breitling Unlimited Gold Championship race that ended with four-time defending champion Steve Hinton edging out one of the best racing fields in the event’s history for his fifth straight victory.

Hinton, from Chino, Calif., was piloting the popular P-51 Mustang “Voodoo,” racing against his former plane, the legendary P-51 Mustang, “Strega,” owned by famed air racer Bill “Tiger” Destefani. By day’s end, Gold Champions were crowned in all six race classes.

Winners included:

  • Biplane Class: Tom Aberle, Fallbrook, Calif., “Phantom,” 254.24 mph
  • Sport Class: Jeff LaVelle, Mukilteo, Wash., “Race 39,” 394.33 mph (time of release, results unofficial)
  • Formula One Class: Vito Wypraechtiger, Bern, Switzerland, “Scarlet Screamer,” 240.26 mph
  • T-6 Class: Dennis Buehn, Carson City, Nev.; “Midnight Miss III,” 245.56 mph
  • Jet Class: Pete Zaccagnino, Park City Utah, “Just Lucky,” 509.9 mph
  • Unlimited Class: Steve Hinton, Chino, “Voodoo,” 482.1 mph

“This year was truly an honor for the Reno Air Races,” said Mike Houghton, CEO and president of Reno Air Racing Association. “We welcomed some of the best aviators in the industry to race, watch and/or take part in our 50th event. We appreciate all of the fans, competitors, performers, volunteers and sponsors for making this a memorable year.”

For a complete list of official results and times, log onto

See some of Ben Sclair’s photos from the races here.

Pictured: “Voodoo,” piloted by Steven Hinton, flies over Pylon 8 after take off in Sunday’s Gold Unlimited Race on her way to the Championship.

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