The Speedworld RC Flyers club, located near Phoenix, typically hosts the largest Pylon races of the year: the Phoenix Winterfest Q-500 and the Phoenix Q-40 Classic.
The 2013 races were moved because of challenges with the location and land owner, (none related to the club). Because of the perseverance of Jim Allen, racers, club members, and many others, the Speedworld Motorplex site was open for business in 2014. Special thanks to all who helped get the Phoenix event back on the calendar.
To me, Phoenix has always been a special place to race. The 2005 Phoenix Q-40 Classic was my first Q-40 race. In round three, I had a side-by-side race with Harold Sattler that permanently sank the Pylon hook in me. For the record, Harold won by approximately two airplane lengths and my adrenaline level likely exceeded legal limits. I get fired up just thinking about it.
I was unable to make it to the Q-40 Classic this year because an electrical house fire displaced our family for a couple of months. However, I will focus on the Phoenix races in this month’s column with the hope that someday you may join us in sunny Arizona. You will not regret it.
The Winterfest race is typically the first Q-500 race of the year, taking place in late January. This year it was held January 18-19. The format was changed to include Electric Formula 1 (EF1) instead of Q-500 AMA Event 424.
Q-500 AMA Event 426 drew the highest attendance, with 34 registered entries. EF1 had 18 entries.
Travis Flynn pulled off the contest sweep—winning both EF1 and Q-500. He also had Fast Time in EF1. We don’t call him SuperT for nothing. Congratulations, Travis.
Team Horizon took the remaining top spots, with Dub Jett and Dan Kane coming in second and third, respectively.
Name Time Points
1. Travis Flynn 1:23.92 32
2. Dub Jett 1:24.53 28
3. Dan Kane 1:24.85 27
Fast Time: Travis Flynn 1:23.92
Behind Travis Flynn’s perfect eight-round score, Dub Jett and Dan Thordarson had a fly-off to decide second place. Dub won the fly-off, putting Dan in third. Dan Kane rounded out a stellar top-five weekend in both classes by finishing fourth, followed by Jack Hinkel Jr. in fifth. Congratulations to all of the top finishers of the 2014 Phoenix Winterfest race.
Name Time Points
1. Travis Flynn 1:03.90 30
2. Dub Jett 1:06.52 28
3. Dan Thordarson 1:05.77 28
4. Dan Kane 1:05.64 26
5. Jack Hinkel Jr. 1:11.88 25
Fast Time: Gino Del Ponte 1:03.02
Phoenix Q-40 Classic
The Phoenix Q-40 typically takes place in late February with 70° temperatures, light winds, and a competitive 80-person entry limit. This year, 75 contestants made it to the Speedworld facility for eight rounds of heart-pounding action.
In recent years, this event has had a large international draw, and 2014 was no different. Contestants came from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and other countries to partake in this year’s action.
Jim Allen has been the driving force behind the Phoenix races for many years. Either he or his teammate typically is in contention for the win at any Pylon race they attend. What amazes me is they can do it while Jim pulls double duty as the CD.
The mental focus it takes to keep sub-5-minute heats firing off for two straight days, 80 competition-crazed racers happy, not making any mistakes, and to keep ripping off heat wins, amazes me. My hat is off to the super team of Jim Allen and Gary Schmidt for being such a Pylon force.
Jim took top honors at the 2014 Phoenix Q-40 Classic and called his teammate, Gary Schmidt, to a third-place finish, along with the only sub-minute 59.93-second Fast Time. Well done, gentlemen!
I have to give a special shout-out to longtime friend and Canadian competitor, Harold Sattler, for his hard-fought seventh-place finish. I met Harold in Calgary, Canada, when I was nine years old. There are few people more genuine, good-hearted, and competitive then Harold. I was thrilled to see his great finish. Way to go, Harold!
Randy Smith has produced several top-notch helmet camera videos of the Phoenix Q-40 Classic. If you want to get a feel for the intensity during a heat at Phoenix, check out the videos on the National Miniature Pylon Racing Association (NMPRA) forum or by searching for them on YouTube.
I want to thank Chuck Andraka and Tom Hegland for the photos they provided for this column. Congratulations to the winners.
Name Time Points
1. Jim Allen 1:01.83 32
2. Robert Holik 1:01.98 31-F2
3. Gary Schmidt 59.93 31-F1
4. Dan Kane 1:01.47 29-FO
5. Ben Jones 1:03.82 29-FO
6. Bill Johanson 1:01.18 27-F4
7. Harold Sattler 1:02.64 27-F3
8. Doug Killebrew 1:05.18 27-F2
9. Tony Lopez 1:01.48 27-F1
10. Lyle Larson 1:02.36 26-F3
Fast Time: Gary Schmidt 59.93
2014 NMPRA Championship Race
The Sanderson Field RC Flyers club, in Shelton, Washington (near Seattle), is preparing for the NMPRA Q-40 Championship race September 27-28. Visit the NMPRA website for the race flyer and complete details. I hope to see you in the great Northwest this fall.