Team Goulian’s efforts in Portugal came to a premature close Sunday morning as France’s Mikael Brageot bested their time by a mere 0:00:128 of a second.
The “Dash on the Douro” yielded some of the closest finish times in the race series with 11 of the 14 competitors all posting times within 7 tenths of a second of one another. A subtle change in the wind conditions from one lap to the next could have sent one race team cruising to victory, while holding others back just enough to end their hopes in Porto.
“We were a little soft in the vertical turns. Hearing Mikael’s time come through on the radio almost makes you want to abandon the plan and throw caution to the wind. But, we were determined to be disciplined and not let emotion get the best of us. The urge to go for it could have brought us an over-G in the vertical turns, but unfortunately we were a little too conservative and were a little slow on the turns.”
Goulian and Team 99 will have another opportunity to stand atop a podium when the Red Bull Air Race takes off again in only two weeks time in Lausitz, Germany.
“We’ve learned a lot over the course of the season. There are days when you go out there and everything just works. Then there are days when you come away with lessons learned and that only helps prepare you for the next race where you will enter into it stronger than ever because you have that much more experience to stand upon.”
Goulian slips to 8th place in the Championship standings with only one point separating him from Matt Hall in 7th place.
Red Bull Air Race Porto Final Four Results:
1) Martin Sonka
2) Pete McLeod
3) Matt Hall
4) Kirby Chambliss