The Tunica Air Races and Air Show has officially established itself as the second air racing venue in the world. The first race was held June 2-5, in Tunica, Miss.
Brian Sanders of El Dorado Hills, Calif., flying “Dreadnought,” won the Tunica Cup in the Unlimited Class and the $150,000 purse Sunday, with a finish time of 7:29.31 at 379.302 mph around the eight-mile track. Matt Jackson of Northridge, Calif., flying “Argonaut,” finished second with 7:29.31 at 379.040 mph, followed by John Bagley, flying “Ole Yeller,” with 8:52.75 at 319.895.
Sunday’s race was a close call in the end as Sanders and Jackson finished within 30 seconds of each other. Sanders led all three heats in the Unlimited Class.
Tom Campau of West Bloomfield, Minn., flying “Mystical Power,” won the T-6 Tunica Cup and the $50,000 purse during Sunday’s Gold Heat at the Tunica Air Races. Campau’s final race time was 8:56.03 and his plane reached 216.794 mph. Mary Dilda of Memphis, flying “Two of Hearts” at 215.811 mph, came in second with only two seconds separating her from Campau. Joey Sanders, flying “Big Red,” finished third with a 10:06.47 race time and flying at 191.614 mph.
Campau, Dilda and Sanders ran very close races all week. During the Heat 1A-Gold on Friday, Dilda and Sanders finished first and second respectively with only a second separating them. Saturday’s Gold Heat found Dilda and Campau neck and neck again with Dilda finishing the race only a tenth of a second ahead of Campau.
Jason Somes of Simi Valley, Calif., won the Formula One Tunica Cup, with a finish time of 7:44.00 at 208.707 mph around the six-mile track. The purse for the Formula One class is $35,000.
The main goal of the Tunica Air Races is to not only offer another racing venue, but also grow the sport by growing the fan base.
For more information, visit [http://www.tunicaairraces.com].