The Red Bull Air Race stop at Germany’s Lausitzring on 16-17 September will be the last 2017 race in Europe, and the next-to-last race of the season. For the USA’s Michael Goulian, it’s an opportunity to make an already strong season even stronger, and to generate fresh momentum heading into October’s season finale.
Team Goulian has clicked in a big way this year, as evidenced by their DHL Fastest Lap Award in Abu Dhabi and their podium finish at Kazan, Russia. The team members have clearly gelled; and interestingly, it was in the second half of 2016 that their cohesion really started to become apparent, including head-turning runs and advancement to the Round of 8 at Lausitz. The experience they gained at the German motorsport track helped to take them to an incredible performance in the season finale at another speedway – the NASCAR track in Las Vegas. Despite unforgettable winds, Goulian managed to set a blistering best time in the Round of 14, only to have the race cancelled when conditions became too extreme.
This year, Lausitz is the first race of the season over land instead of water, and Team Goulian is once again keen for the speedway shift. They’re looking to deliver powerful runs at Lausitz and then only accelerate toward the season climax at legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s such a fun experience for all the teams here at the Lausitzring because the fans fill the grandstands, and we take off right there in front of them. The vibe is fantastic,” Goulian notes.
In a season where no pilot has yet been able to dominate, the American currently finds himself solidly in the center of the overall standings. He’s just one point behind Australia’s Matt Hall, a two-time runner-up for the World Championship, and only three points behind the reigning titleholder himself, Matthias Dolderer. A strong result in Lausitz could leapfrog the Massachusetts-based team to the top five – or potentially even higher.
“Two races left and 30 points up for grabs. There’s a lot on the line,” says Goulian. “But the real victory for us this year is our heightened consistency, and being able to deliver not only in practice and Qualifying, but on Race Day when it counts. That’s something we want to build on here in Germany, at Indianapolis and moving forward into 2018.”
Team Goulian will kick off their campaign at the Lausitzring with Qualifying on Saturday, 16 September, followed by Race Day on Sunday, 17 September 2017.
Fans in the United States can watch Saturday’s qualifying round at 10:00am EDT on the NBC Sports App. Sunday’s race will be broadcast Sunday night at 11:30pm EDT on NBC Sports. Please check your local listings for channel information.