Takes Advantage Of Rival's Mistake
With only a stock
Lycoming TIO540-NXT, Jon Sharp took first place in the Gold
Championship air race at Reno this year with a speed of 360
Sharp admits his victory was due in part to a mistake by rival
Rod Von Grote. Grote cut a pylon incurring a two-second-per-lap
At the beginning of the Championship Gold Race, Sharp was flying
in 3rd place, with a great view of the battle for first between
John Parker in his Thunder Mustang and Rod Von Grote in his Lancair
Legacy. On lap one of a six lap race, Von Grote cut a pylon while
passing Parker -- with the alert Sharp catching the mistake.
On lap 4, with the Lycoming Thunderbolt howling, Sharp swept
past Parker. Sharp was still behind Grote, but knew he had first
place because of Grote's pylon cut. 2 seconds per lap for six laps
is a 12 second total penalty. Sharp knew all he had to do was to
stay within 12 seconds of Grote, and ahead of the rest of the pack
until the checkered flag, and he did it!
Many spectators questioned why Sharp decided to race with a
stock Lycoming TIO-540-NXT. The answer is because he can.
The goal for Team Nemesis was to see what the combination of the
NXT airframe and a stock Lycoming TIO-540-NXT could do. Nemesis
raced without the use of Anti-Detonation Injection or supplemental
cooling water. As the team has stated from the beginning, racing
should demonstrate what can be done, not what has been done.
The team collected and analyzed data from each flight using a
JPI EDM 930 engine monitoring system. They expanded their operating
limitations for each race based on the previous race's test data.
While making only minor adjustments during routine inspections,
their conclusion is they operated the aircraft at a "relatively
easy" pace throughout the week.
Winning with a stock engine is a goal now met for the team. With
data from this series of races, the team plans to begin
modifications to see what the engine/airframe combination's
ultimate limits are. Sharp says the team can't wait!
Team Nemesis gives partial credit for its success at Reno to the
Team's Web and Graphic Designer, Mirco Percorari of Aircraft Design
Studio. They said he sent the team an email with an Italian good
luck wish, "in bocca al lupa," and designed a lucky logo for the
team that seemed to work.
On the flight home, Jon and Patricia Sharp claim they reached a
speed of 372 mph in straight and level flight. They said they were
"just curious" what cruising speed they could reach.
You'd have thought Jon had enough "go fast" for one week!
Congratulations Jon and crew -- you deserve it for a job well