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Saturday morning was a relatively easy day for the Precious Metal crew as the airplane was pretty well dialed in for the Silver race later in the day. However, even a dialed in airplane still gets a lot of detailed attention in preperation for a race, but at least there's wasn't a frantic push to solve large problems. The race today was just after noon and PM had no trouble winning over a collection of Sea Fury's, P-51's, a Corsair and a Tigercat. PM posted a winning speed of just a few ticks under 438mph which is almost 4 mph faster than in last year's Gold race on Sunday. At this point it seems safe to assume that Thom has some power in reserve to push PM up the ladder in the Gold race.
There were some very interesting developments then later in the day in the Gold Heat 3 race just after 4pm. Steven Hinton in Voodoo pulled out in front with Tiger Destefani in Strega chasing him but at a much higher altitude. This race was really about these two P-51's as Rare Bear, Czech Mate, Dreadnought and Sawbones weren't really able to keep up. Voodoo pulled fairly well ahead for a few laps but Tiger was almost able to close all the gap by the time they passed the home pylon on the final lap... HOWEVER, the posted (still unofficial at 7:55pm PDT) race results indicate that Tiger and Strega were disqualified for not maintaining course altitude. I expect there's a lot of discussion going about this and it'll be interesting to see on Sunday how it's all shaken out.
Stevo in Voodoo finished today's race with a speed of 492.525mph, a little over 10mph faster than his 2013 Gold race winning speed of 482.074, and Tiger was just barely (JUST BARELY!) behind him at the finish, so these two P-51's have continued to prove they have all the right stuff to race the fastest at Reno. But if Tiger and Strega are out all together, then it'll leave Voodoo as the beast to beat. Plus, Tiger had a Mayday (with a safe landing) right after the finish and Strega may be unable to race Sunday no matter what.
Regardless, Thom in Precious Metal has his work cut out for him in pushing the Griffon powered P-51 to its fastest race speeds ever in Sunday's Gold Championship race... it's gonna be fun to watch!
The journey for the Precious Metal Team at Reno 2014 has been long, challenging, and fairly eventful... but with Sunday now right around the corner, Thom and the airplane are ready to give it a great run for the Gold!
Let's go racing!
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