Michael Goulian was fighting back tears on Sunday as he became the first Red Bull Air Race pilot from the USA to write his name in the list of motorsport winners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In second place, Canada’s Pete McLeod claimed his first podium of 2018, while Nicolas Ivanoff of France also ended a podium drought in third. Now, the World Championship all comes down to November’s season finale in Fort Worth, Texas.
Indianapolis, USA – Goulian’s victory in front of over 40,000 home fans over the weekend was hard fought, especially when he barely made it out of Sunday’s opening round as the fastest loser. Meanwhile, his two remaining rivals for the World Championship, Czech pilot Martin Šonka and Australia’s Matt Hall, stumbled, as American Kirby Chambliss outflew Šonka in the Round of 14, and Hall hit a pylon in the Round of 8. In the Final 4, Goulian was rock solid, delivering a time of 1:06.208. Canada’s McLeod, a dangerous threat as the third-place finisher in Indianapolis in 2016, took it down to the wire, but lost time in the racetrack to finish over a half-second behind the jubilant American.
“It’s a big day. Right now, the season doesn’t even mean anything, because to win at Indy is amazing,” said Goulian, his emotion evident as he realized that he would be able to kiss the famous Indy bricks like the Indianapolis 500 heroes of his childhood. “Sometimes the day just works out for you, and today it did. It feels great to win here. The last race in Wiener Neustadt [where he finished 12th] was just an outlier, like this race for Matt and Martin. Everybody wanted a fight to the finish for the World Championship, and that’s what they’re going to get.”
After sliding to third place overall, Goulian’s Indianapolis result propelled him back to the top of the standings at 70 points, while Šonka is now second at 65 and Hall holds 63. With only seven total points separating the trio, only one thing is sure – the season finale in Fort Worth, Texas this November will crown a first-time Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
See the showdown that decides the World Championship: Tickets for the 2018 Red Bull Air Race season finale at the Texas Motor Speedway on 17-18 November are on sale now. For more information on tickets and every exciting update, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Results Master Class, Indianapolis 2018: 1. Michael Goulian (USA), 2. Pete McLeod (CAN), 3. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 4. Ben Murphy (GBR), 5. Cristian Bolton (CHI), 6. Matt Hall (AUS), 7. Juan Velarde (ESP), 8. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 9. Mika Brageot (FRA), 10. Martin Šonka (CZE), 11. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 12. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 14. François Le Vot (FRA)
World Championship standings after seven races: 1. Michael Goulian (USA) 70 points, 2. Martin Šonka (CZE) 65 pts, 3. Matt Hall (AUS) 63 pts, 4. Mika Brageot (FRA) 36 pts, 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 34 pts, 6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 27 pts, 7. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 25 pts, 8. Ben Murphy (GBR) 22 pts, 9. François Le Vot (FRA) 21 pts, 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 20 pts, 11. Juan Velarde (ESP) 20 pts, 12. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 17 pts, 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 16 pts, 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 12 pts
Content and images courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool.
Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar
2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
20-22 April: Cannes, France
26-27 May: Chiba, Japan
23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary
25-26 August: Kazan, Russia
15-16 September: Wiener Neustadt, Austria
6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA
17-18 November: Fort Worth, USA