By Jasmine Gordon
Calhoun Air Center
The Racing Aces, Dianna Stanger and Victoria Holt, won the 36th Annual Air Race Classic (ARC) on Sunday, June 25. The four-day race covered 2,862 statute-miles, eight states and nine stops. The race concluded on Friday, June 22, at the terminal building in Clermont County Airport in Batavia, Ohio. Clermont County Airport is home of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, the mecca of pilot supplies and accessories.
The team started out strong, flying five legs of the race in one day. “The first day of the race we covered a total of 1,313.72 miles and over half the race route.” Dianna commented. The female pilots also competed in last year’s race.
The Racing Aces departed from Chippewa County International Airport, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan (CIU), on the morning of June 22, the fourth day of the race, later than a handful of racers, but the move was strategic and beneficial. The previous day all teams were grounded due to poor weather.
“Our strategy kept changing as quickly as the weather was changing. We knew we needed to keep flying along the weather front to take advantage of the strong tail winds,” said Holt. “We started the race with our minds set on a victory, working hard all year practicing crew coordination.”
Holt and Stanger flew the last two legs in a matter of hours. The team landed 20th at Clermont County Aiport and were announced the champions on the evening of Sunday, June 25. The team is the first to win in a Cirrus SR 22 Special Edition.
“The Racing Aces love this competition because it not only tests your skills as a pilot, but also your mental abilities to choose route and altitudes. It is a challenge on many different levels,” said Stanger. “The air race is a very long journey that took us over some fantastic parts of the United States that amazed us. Meeting the wonderful people at each airport and community was so heartwarming; each time we left an airport we felt like we were very special.”
The four-day air race began in 1929 with the First Women’s Air Derby, the oldest women’s race in the country. Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden and Ruth Elder were among the first women to compete. The female pilots are proud to follow the footsteps of past competitors and aviatrixes. They helped pave the way for the Aces and, in turn, they hope to do the same for other female pilots. The Aces promoted aviation all along the race route and made headlines as far as South Dakota and Ohio.
Throughout the years, the ARC has drawn entrants from overseas with racers coming from Canada, Germany, New Zealand, England and Malaysia.
The Racing Aces would like to thank everyone who has supported the team and they look forward to continuing to promote general aviation to girls of all ages. Most importantly the Aces award scholarships with the proceeds from this year’s race.
“These scholarships are going to give a few dedicated girls a jump start towards pursuing their aviation dreams,” said President and CEO of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Michael Wolf. “We feel very fortunate to have played a role in supporting this great event.”
Dianna and Victoria would like to personally thank their 2012 sponsors; AvFuel; Byrne & Storm, P.C.; Federman, Lally & Remis LLC; IBC Bank; Eurocopter; Flight Safety; Formosa and Ladd Gardner Insurance. View the Ace’s journey online at http://theracingaces.com.