Team FLIRT (Florida International Racing Team)
Team Flirt was the brainchild of Miss USA’s team mentor Thom Richard. Thom is the owner of the Kissimmee Flying school “Ward Bird Adventures” http://warbirdadventures.com that teaches pilots to fly tail draggers such as the T6. Thom claims his first word in the crib was ‘Spitfire’… After which he started flying Gliders at the age of 16 in his native country Sweden. Upon arriving in the US in 1989 at 17, he pursued powered flight and learned to fly in various tail-draggers in California. Always wanting to turn upside down as much as possible, he learned aerobatics well before he even had a license. After earning all his ratings, including a mechanics license and inspectors authorization he barnstormed around the US, flew fire watch and skydivers. He even used to skydive, but he’s much better now… before he co-founded Warbird Adventures. With well over 10,000 hours in everything from gliders to twin turbines, Jets and helicopters, the T-6 is his most current office at 4400 hours dual given. Whenever he’s not teaching in warbirds or helicopters, he can usually be found in the hangar, working on one of his pipe-dream air race projects.
Interestingly team Flirt were originally the “Florida Advanced Racing Team”, but with a name of “Team FART” and with an Aussie and a Brit it was decided to become an International team, and spare the numerous jokes about “Team FART”
Team FLIRT comprises of 3 planes in 3 different classes and flown by 3 pilots.
Thom Richard flies Precious Metal, an iconic P-51 Mustang that has been heavily customized and has counter rotating props. Thom flies Precious Metal in the UNLIMITED CLASS
Lachie Onslow flies Hot Section, a jet that has been customized for racing. Lachie flies Hot Section in the JET CLASS
SPH flies Miss USA, a slipknot Cassutt, that has been racing at Reno for over 3 decades. Miss USA has undergone some major modifications this year. SPH flies Miss USA in the FORMULA 1 CLASS