Entries are now open for the early events of the 2017 season of the Sport Air Racing League.
The league has offered open course cross-country air racing since 2007.
All pilots and all fixed-wing propeller driven aircraft are eligible to participate.
“Yes, any pilot can be an air racer,” organizers said. “The Sport Air Racing League offers a legitimate racing experience in a safe, fun and fair environment.”
The 2017 season kicks off March 31, with events scheduled across the U.S. through November.
Races are mainly one day and range from 150 to 400 miles. All flying is VFR in strict adherence to all FARs.
No matter what you fly, there is a class for you, according to organizers. Planes are grouped into three categories and classed according to power and gear configuration.
The experimental category provides the homebuilder a chance to test their plane, exchange ideas and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow builders.
The factory manufactured aircraft compete in their own classes with like criteria. Aircraft range from turbine-powered twins to classic Ercoupes.
There are classes for the Light-Sport Aircraft in both categories.
Classics, Warbirds and antiques fly in the Heavy Metal Category. The race pits may sport a P-51 Mustang parked next to a little Quickie and a classic Stearman.
At each race, there are rows of Van’s, Lancairs, Glasairs, Bonanzas, Mooneys, Cessnas and Pipers.
Aircraft are individually timed over the course and safety is paramount, according to race officials.
You have to be the fastest in your class to win first place and set speed records.
The league also recognizes point champions — the pilots who are out there racing and supporting the sport and general aviation in a big way.
Points are awarded for placements in class and it is not necessarily the fastest plane that amasses the most points in a season. It is the plane that is out there participating the most and gaining the most points, organizers explained.
Able Flight provides flight training to handicapped individuals with a passion to fly. Able Flight provides all expense paid, full flight training annually to as many aspiring pilots as possible.
Racers will arrive at KSPA in Spartanburg, S.C., March 31. The new Bootlegger Challenge takes place April 1.
Pilots will be in the heart of “Moonshine” country and the challenge is sponsored by Motte and Sons Bootlegging Company.
The Challenge includes an 80 nm Sport League-sanctioned race. There are three challenges, which will give pilots who never have a shot at winning top speed air racing awards the chance to stand tall with the challenge.
How fast can you bottle some moonshine? How close can you come on predicting your air race time and how fast can you zoom around the go kart track?
The Bootlegger Air Race will also have all the Sport League classes and top speed awards and league points.
Sunday, April 2, will see the air racers launch on the third annual Sunshine Express 400, heading for Winter Haven, Florida (GIF). Moulteria, Georgia, is a no penalty, half-way point stop for those needing fuel.
This brings all the racers to SUN ‘n FUN, which opens April 4.
Entries for the earliest races close March 20, 2017.
There are currently 20 races on the Sport League schedule, with events in Ohio, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Washington. More will be added, organizers said.
Racers receive no cash awards, but take home trophies, awards and prizes.