FREE PRACTICE: USA’s Michael Goulian placed 5th in today’s Free Practice session with a time of 59.644sec, trailing reigning Red Bull Air Race World Champion Martin Sonka by a mere 0.161sec. Missing out on two Free Practice sessions the day prior, the 14 race pilots were able to finally get into the track today for one session before Qualifying. Both Friday’s Free Practice sessions were ultimately cancelled due to a combination of bad weather and fuel logistics.
QUALIFYING: With a weather system moving through Balaton, the team expected a substantial shift in track conditions from the previous session, as FP3 brought a very calm and easy to fly mild-speed track. Once the storms cleared, low pressure brought strong winds and turbulence. The team’s Race Coach Pablo Branco weighed in on the conditions: “It’s always difficult to adapt when compensating for hugely changing track conditions and we might have taken an overly conservative strategy today but still got the results we were hoping for.” The US pilot Qualified 7th with a conservative yet consistent track time of 59.484sec, pitching him against Petr Kopfstein in the Round of 14, a familiar race day pairing: the two recently faced off during the season opener in Abu Dhabi a few short months ago.
Goulian on his Qualifying result: “We went out and executed the plan as we practiced. It was clearly a lot bumpier and windier than it was this morning. I’m not happy with it, but I’m not disappointed either. There were no penalties; it was clean. I think there’s some studying to do tonight to get really fast for tomorrow, and I am confident we can figure that out to be ready to hit it on Race Day.”
Race Day Round of 14 matchups:
Heat 1: Pete McLeod vs. Nicolas Ivanoff
Heat 2: Francois Le Vot vs. Ben Murphy
Heat 3: Yoshihide Muroya vs. Matt Hall
Heat 4: Kirby Chambliss vs. Mike Brageot
Heat 5: Petr Kopfstein vs. Michael Goulian
Heat 6: Cristian Bolton vs. Juan Velarde
Heat 7: Matthias Dolderer vs. Martin Sonka
Tune in LIVE for Race Day action tomorrow: Saturday, July 14th at 7am EDT: www.redbullairrace.com/live
Content provided of Goulian Aerosports.
Images courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Content Pool.
Red Bull Air Race 2019 Calendar
8-9 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Lake Balaton, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan