Racing action in the pilot's circle at the 2013 Salem Speed and Racing contest. Pilots in the new Sportsman Clown Race class are working in a nice, tight formation: In background is Bruce Tunberg; in foreground is Daniel Johnson and passing is Gene Pape. Flying Lines photo.

2013 Salem Speed and Racing

Sept. 21-22, 2013, Bill Riegel Model Airpark, Salem, Ore.

By Mike Hazel, contest director

After a break of a few years, control line racing returned to Bill Riegel field at the Salem airport to join with the speed events for a go-fast weekend.  Attendance was below expected level, most likely due to the very negative weather forecasts.  Conditions were actually quite nice on Saturday, with only a brief period of wet stuff coming down.  This didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm for the day’s activities.  Sunday, however, was another story what with very strong winds greeting morning attendees and rain by noon. This limited Sunday’s action to only bench racing until everybody left early.

This contest was the first try of Sportsman Clown Race, aka “Geezer Clown.”  The airplane speeds looked pretty comfortable for the pilots.  There were only three entries, but as usual other potential entries “were almost ready.”  Engines used at the contest included O.S. LA and Brodak .15 engines.

Northwest Sport Race was the big entry event of the meet.  No one choose the O.S. LA 25 option for this contest, just staying with the standard Fox 35. Bruce Tunberg had the fastest heat, but was unable to advance to the three-up final due to aircraft damage.

With the racing finished on Saturday came speed action. With the speed entry level down, there just weren’t that many official scores to post.  There was plenty of test flying, however. And as already mentioned, no flying on Sunday due to horrible conditions.


Northwest Standings Points in parentheses

1. John Thompson, Eugene, Ore. (Nitroholics Racing Team) 10:31 (5)
2. Daniel Johnson, Rochester, Wash., 11:40 (4)
3. Gene Pape,  Eugene, Ore., 13:00 (3)
4. Bruce Tunberg, McMinnville, Ore., 4:43 heat (2)
5. Ron Howell, Lynnwood, Wash., 67 laps

Race canceled

SPORTSMAN CLOWN RACE (10-minute race) (3 entries)
Ron Howell, 146 laps (3)
2. Daniel Johnson, 119 laps  (1)
    Ken Burdick,  Kamloops, B.C. 119 laps (1)

NORTHWEST CLOWN RACE (7-1/2 minute race) (2 entries)
1. John Thompson (Nitroholics Racing Team), 133 laps (2)
2. Bruce Tunberg, 97 laps (1)

1. Chris Sackett, Maple Ridge, B.C.. 99.35 mph (1) (Northwest record, eclipsing Sackett record of 96.68 set on June 29, 2013, in Salem)

B SPEED  (1 entry)
Craig Bartlett, Corvallis, Ore., attempt (1)

1/2 A PROFILE PROTO (2 entries)
Ken Burdick, 86.84 mph (2)
2. Bruce Tunberg,  attempt (1)

Jim Booker, LaGrande, Ore. 155.64 mph (1)

Results of this contest are included in Northwest Control-Line Competition Standings.

Salem Speed & Racing Photo Gallery

Ken Burdick (left) and Ron Howell piloting in one of the Northwest Sport Race heats. Flying Lines photo.

Daniel Johnson flew this Artesian in Northwest Sport Race. The Artesian was designed and kitted in the 1980s by Northwest flier Dick Peterson for Slow Rat, Northwest Sport Race and Northwest Super Sport Race. Flying Lines photo.

Racing planes, once they are built and set up correctly, can last for a long time, as these two Northwest Sport Race planes illustrate. The plane at left is a Brodak Super Clown built Oregon's Nitroholics Racing Team (John Thompson and Mike Hazel) in 2000. At right is Gene Pape's Ringmaster, built for Northwest Sport Race in 1983 -- 30 years ago and still flying! Flying Lines photo.

Scott Johnson launches Ron Howell's Artesian for a Northwest Sport Race heat. Flying Lines photo.

Howell's Sport Race plane suffered some sort of control failure and went straight into the asphalt. Flying Lines photo.

Howell's Fox .35 Stunt engine suffered fatal damage in the crash. Flying Lines photo.

Ken Burdick (right) passes Mike Hazel during a Northwest Sport Race heat. Daniel Johnson photo.

Ron Howell warms up his Sportsman Clown Race plane Flying Lines photo.

Ken Burdick starts his Sportsman Clown Racer; Scott Johnson pits in the background. Flying Lines photo.

Bruce Tunberg waits for a launch as Daniel Johnson and Gene Pape (right) motor on in Sportsman Clown Race. Flying Lines photos.

Scott Johnson (foreground) and Ken Burdick pit their Sportsman Clown Racers. Flying Lines photo.

Ron Howell starts his Sportsman Clown Racer. Flying Lines photo.

Contest Director Mike Hazel kept busy, timing races and piloting the Nitroholics Racing Team entries. Flying Lines photo.

Jim Booker is at the handle as his NorthwestSport Jet Speed plane thunders off for a test flight; in the pits are Craig Bartlett (left) and Mike Hazel. Flying Lines photo.

Ken Burdick's Northwest Jet Speed plane. Daniel Johnson photo.

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This page was upated Oct. 14, 2014