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Start your engines – Air Race 1 returns with a San Angelo USA event this Autumn

Live adrenaline-fuelled air racing will make its return this October as Air Race 1 heads to San Angelo, Texas for its first race since the global covid-19 pandemic began.

The West Texas city in the heart of ranching country and situated on the picturesque Concho River will host a series of races on Halloween weekend, from October 30th to 31st 2021. Top air racing teams will compete head to head in front of a live crowd at The San Angelo Regional Airport. The event will be one of the first sporting events open to spectators in the region since the covid-19 regulations limited live events, provided it will be safe to do so, signalling a return to live sports and entertainment in the region.

Air Race 1 is a globally-renowned air racing series based on the long-running sport known as formula one air racing. Pilots flying single-seater aircraft, purpose-built for racing, compete to be the first to cross the finish line, racing directly against each other at speeds of over 450kph around a tight 5km (3 miles) circuit, just 15m (50 feet) above the ground. Air Race 1, led by renowned air racing promoter Jeff Zaltman, has a proven history of international races dating back to 2014 including in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Air Race 1 CEO, Jeff Zaltman said, “For over a year sports fans have been starved of live action due to the pandemic and so we’re thrilled to be in a position to stage this event and herald the return of air racing. We will offer two days of edge-of-your-seat action and entertainment for all fans, while working hard to ensure the event adheres to all covid-19 safety guidelines in place at the time.”

“We’re grateful to the city of San Angelo for taking on this ambitious project. We will do our best to showcase the wonders of the city and the capabilities of the airport as we invite people from all over the world to lovely San Angelo.”

San Angelo’s location on the northern boundary of the Chihuahuan Desert and its many lakes and rivers lend itself to brilliant blue skies and a pleasant climate, perfect for air racing and outdoor events.

San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter said, “We’re delighted to host Air Race 1 here in San Angelo and bring a unique and exciting sport to the valley after what has been a long and difficult period for many in our city. We know that Texans are big fans of motorsports and we are all eager for live events to return, where safety can be managed. This is part of a calculated step towards normality and reviving our sports and entertainment calendar for everyone to enjoy.”

The Air Race 1 San Angelo event is sanctioned by the sport’s governing body, the International Formula One Air Racing Association (IF1), who are working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure the event is in accordance with the rules and regulations set out by the respective authorities.

IF1 President Bob Holmes said: “IF1 has been air racing for over 75 years and we are excited to showcase our aircraft and pilots in San Angelo in October. We look forward to engaging with racing fans and sharing our passion for the sport we love.”

Heat Stroke takes silver victory in Reno

It was a memorable week in Nevada for the Air Race 1 plane Heat Stroke, as pilot Steve Temple guided Race No. 8 to victory in the Silver final at the 2019 National Championship Air Races.

The yellow and orange Cassutt held off the competition with speeds of almost 200 mph hour to take the trophy following a wonderful few days of air racing at the Reno-Stead airport, from 11 to 15 September.

After warming up in the earlier Bronze race, which was won by Chris Weaver in Mach Chicken, Temple set off in the Silver final from the front, and that’s where he remained throughout the eight laps of the 3.1 mile course.

Nevada-native Steve Tumlin, in his lively Cassutt Feisty which won the silver class at the Air Race 1 China Cup last year, was in hot pursuit of Temple and finished in second place. Tom Siegler flying in Doghouse came home in third place.

Air Race 1 CEO and owner of Heat Stroke Jeff Zaltman was delighted with Temple’s win.

In Sunday’s Gold final, Lowell Slatter took the title in Fraed Naught, beating last year’s formula one winner Justin Meaders in Limitless into second spot. China Cup champion Steve Senegal came in third place in his red Arnold-AR6, Endeavor.


1 #31 Lowell Slatter, Fraed Naught ​
2 #34 Justin Meaders, Limitless
3 #11 Steve Senegal, Endeavor ​
4 #79 Justin Phillipson, No Strings Attached
5 #4 Jerry Marshall, Tumbleweed
6 #12 Yingnan Zhou, Outrageous ​
7 #54 Jim Jordan, Miss Min ​
8 #81 Des Hart, Sleeper

1 #8 Steve Temple, Heat Stroke
2 #52 Steve Tumlin, Feisty​
3 #76 Tom Siegler, Doghouse​
4 #26 Paul Newman, Fast and Easy ​
5 #9 Scott Holmes, Outlaw ​
6 #47 Chris Weaver, Mach Chicken
7 #72 Matt Moore, ​The ACME Special ​
8 #48 Blaire Hamilton, Atomic Pumpkin

1 #47 Chris Weaver, Mach Chicken
2 #76 Tom Siegler, Doghouse​
3 #26 Kent Jackson, Fast and Easy ​
4 #9 Scott Holmes, Outlaw ​
5 #8 Steve Temple, Heat Stroke ​
6 #72 Matt Moore, The ACME Special ​
7 #48 Matt Hughes, Atomic Pumpkin ​
8 #20 Robert Austen, Hindsight is 20/20

We Ask the Pilots!

Recently we met up with Kent Jackson, Lionel Mougel and Scott Holmes to talk all things aviation. Regarded as some of the best pilots in Air Race 1 they seemed like the perfect people to ask about what the future holds for Air Race 1 and what they think of Air Race E and what this could mean for the next generation of air racing.

What’s one thing nobody would ever guess about Air Race 1? What surprises people new to the sport?

Kent Jackson: I think people would be surprised by the friendliness of the racers, although we are competing we all share a passion for aviation and as such creates a great camaraderie behind the scenes with everyone. Overall, it’s a great atmosphere to be in.

What’s the most challenging thing for a pilot about Air Race 1?

Lionel Mougel: Keeping safe while travelling at amazing speeds. The planes travel at around 200kph and with other planes racing at the same time your reactions and decision making must be on point to keep yourself, other racers and the public safe throughout the event.

How did you become a pilot (involved in aviation) and get into Air Race 1?

Scott Holmes: I learned to fly through my time in the Canadian Air Cadet program when I was a teenager, from that point I was hooked and realised this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my career. From there I wanted to move on to the next best thing and so I moved into aerobatics and eventually Air Race 1.

What is your favourite plane you have ever piloted (worked on)?

Kent Jackson: I would have to say my plane obviously. Me and the rest of the team spent so long working to perfect the design and create the best plane we could. Seeing the result and having so much success with it has made it an amazing experience.

What tips would you give for people wanting to get into Air Race 1?

Lionel Mougel: Come and get involved, we are always keen to speak to people about aviation, if you are ever at an event the hangar doors are normally open and we love speaking to passionate fans. CLICK HERE to go to the Air Race 1 Contact Information (

What are you most looking forward to about Air Race E?

Scott Holmes: I think the advancements that are being made will be like air racing in the 30s. The technology in this sport is making leaps and bounds and it hopefully will bring new fans to the sport which would be fantastic.

Where do you think Air Race E will be in 5 years’ time and where would you like to see it go?

Kent Jackson: I would love to see an international circuit of races like what Air Race 1 has been able to achieve in the last few years, I think that Air Race E could be even bigger than Air Race 1 due to it being the first aviation race of its kind.

The first Air Race E race is aimed for 2020, how do you think it will differ from Air Race 1 racing?

Scott Holmes: Obviously there will be no refuelling after the races. But the big change will be in the post-race maintenance tasks we complete after each race. Instead of checking mechanical components we will be doing things like checking battery cells and electric components for signs of overheating.

If you have any questions or want to know more about Air Race E, you can visit the official website here.

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