First Ever Sport Air Racing League Speed Dash
Cross-country race closes the day
July 14, 2009 — The first ever Sport Air Racing League (SARL) Speed Dash was held on Saturday, June 13, at the Lawrence County Airport (9A4) in Courtland, Alabama. Morning thunderstorms greeted the Tennessee Valley Air Race (TVAR) and Air Show and forced a revision in the schedule of events, but the organizers were able to complete the speed dash and a cross-country race later in the day, as well as a full air show.
The Speed Dash consisted of each competitor making two low passes in opposite directions over a one-mile runway. An air boss and a spotter directed pairs of race planes around a pre-briefed pattern, sending each plane through the course to be timed. Contestants had to limit their pattern altitude to 1,000 feet AGL and had to fly down the runway between 200 and 500 feet AGL.A run was made in each direction in an attempt to negate the wind. The speeds of the opposite direction passes were then averaged for the official speed.
After the speed dash spectators and participants were treated to an excellent air show featuring several well-known performers. Following the air show, race planes again took to the air in a SARL points cross-country race to complete the day’s flying activities.
Volunteers from EAA Chapter 109 helped marshal the air race and show planes and maintain safety on the flight line.
To see the TVAR results or learn more about SARL, which promotes open course air racing for experimental and production aircraft, visit www.SportAirRace.org/index.html.