only a stock Lycoming TIO540-NXT, Sharp
took first place in the Gold Championship
air race at Reno this year with a speed
of 360 mph.
As luck would have it, along with smart
flying by Sharp throughout the week, it
was a pylon cut by Rod Von Grote flying
in the first position that gave Sharp the
At the beginning of the Gold Race, Sharp
was flying in 3rd place closely behind the
battle for first between John Parker in
his Thunder Mustang and Rod Von Grote in
his Lancair Legacy. On lap 1 of the 6 lap
race, Von Grote was passing Parker when
he cut a pylon, which Sharp clearly saw.
It was at that point Sharp knew that he
had to pass Parker and keep his speed up
in order to win the Gold.
On lap 4, with the Lycoming Thunderbolt
howling, Sharp swept pass Parker. At that
point, Sharp was in second, with the knowledge
of the pylon cut by Von Grote, he knew he
had first. All Sharp had to do from then
on to the checkered flag was to keep flying
a fast, clean race. He did it !!!
The penalty for a pylon cut is 2 seconds
off each lap (2 seconds x 6 laps), a 12
second total penalty.
Many spectators questioned why Sharp decided
to race with a stock Lycoming TIO-540- NXT.
Because he can.
The goal for Team Nemesis was to see what
the combination of the NXT airframe and
a stock Lycoming TIO-540-NXT could do. Nemesis
raced without the use of ADI (Anti- Detonation
Injection) or supplemental cooling water.
As the team has stated from the beginning,
racing should demonstrate what can be done,
not what has been done.
Team Nemesis demonstrated that the right
airframe with a stock Lycoming Thunderbolt
engine can not only be competitive but win!
So, the team now knows what they have, and
from here, they will engineer the speeds
they desire. The team can’t wait!
With system and airframe issues solved and
with the smooth, powerful, and effortless
performance of the Lycoming Thunderbolt
TIO-540-NXT engine, the Team (Jon, Patricia,
the 3 Steves, Darren, Kevin, Elliott, Eric,
the 2 Mikes,Tony, Angela, Lilly, Angie,
Lana, Bob, Randy, Phil, Dennis, Larry, Ken
W., Cory, Patti, Roger, Ian, Ken K., Mirco,
Paul and Hope) was able to be operate at
a relatively easy pace throughout the week.
Data from each flight was collected from
the JPI EDM 930 and analyzed by Team members.
Operating limitations for each race were
expanded based on data from the previous
successful flight. Only minor adjustments
were made along with routine inspections.
This win puts Sharp second in the total
number of Reno Gold National Championship
Titles. Ray Cote currently leads the tally
with 13 Gold Wins, followed by Sharp with
12 and Darryl Greenameyer with a total of
Team Nemesis believes that the luck mentioned
above is partly due to the Team’s
Web and Graphic Designer, Mirco Percorari
of Aircraft Studio Design. He sent the team
a lucky email stating “in bocca al
lupo”, an Italian good luck wish.
In addition, he designed a lucky logo for
the team. It all seemed to work!
As one can imagine, the whole team was elated
and still are! On the flight home, Jon and
Patricia Sharp reached a speed of 372 mph,
flying straight and level and with no tail
wind. “We were just curious what cruising
speed we could reach comfortably”,
The average cruise speed on their flight
back to Mojave, CA was 346 mph. The total
flight time, wheels to wheels, including
a fly by at the Mojave Airport, was 1 hour
and 13 minutes.
Third year on the race course, racer 3X
What a week!
The Team would love to thank the following
- Red Line Oil
- Lycoming Engines
- Aircraft Spruce
- Aircraft Studio Design
- Hartzell Propeller
- JP Instruments
- Twisted Composites
- Grove Aircraft
- Click Bond
In addition, the team is very thankful for
all the blessings that God has given them.
Photo credits by:
Jim Koepnick (EAA)
Mike Rosales (team member)
Daren Kimura (team member)