Jon Sharp Announces Retirement
August 4, 2011 – Air racing legend Jon Sharp, the winningest pilot in the history of air racing, announced he's retiring after 32 years of pylon racing success. The team leader of Nemesis Air Racing holds many air racing records, including speed records on every race course flown in both the Formula 1 Nemesis, and more recently the Sport/Super Sport class NemesisNXT. Nemesis Air Racing won a record 15 Reno Air Racing National Championships.
During an amazing nine-year run at Reno from 1991 to 1999, Sharp and Nemesis won 33 of the 36 Reno National Air Races it flew, resulting in nine consecutive Formula1 Class championships. After the 1999 title, the airplane was retired and currently is on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Sharp’s new NemesisNXT debuted at Reno in 2004 but was severely damaged by an “un-commanded gear retraction” after a qualifying run and had to withdraw. In 2006, NXT returned and Sharp won the first of four consecutive Reno Sport/Super Sport Class championships.
In 2008, the “Pink Rocket” NXT was the first kit-built airplane to surpass 400 mph at Reno, clocked at 409.297 mph.
In 2009 the “Pink Rocket” Thunderbolt-powered NemesisNXT set a new record each time it flew on the course: a new qualifying record of 412.051 mph, then three consecutive new race records: 393.282 mph, 399.336 mph, and 406.051 mph – the first time over 400 mph in the class.
In the finals that year, Sharp flew the NXT to a new championship race record of 407.061 mph to secure the team’s record 15th Reno National Championship.
EAA congratulates Sharp, his wife, Patricia, and the entire Team Nemesis on an incredible racing career. Learn more about Team Nemesis here
NemesisNXT Record at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008: