Goulian advanced to the Final 4 round and placed third at the Cannes Red Bull Air Race (RBAR) World Championship this past weekend after a roller coaster of a day on Sunday.
“After the round of 8 we thought we were going to be in 5th place, [losing to Martin Sonka in the head to head heat]. We put the raceplane back in the hangar and we were getting read to start disassembly.
One of the RBAR officials came into the hangar and said to standby and be ready to go into the Final 4. They would not tell us what was happening and we did not try to understand it at that moment, but I got Warren Cilliers and the team ready and got the cooling fans back on the engine cowling. We had to rush to get the airplane back to the line to put more fuel and smoke oil in the plane. As we were walking out the officials said we were in, Martin Sonka had made some sort of technical infraction [leading to disqualification].
I had to slow myself down and slow the team down to make sure we did everything safely. That was the most important part as it’s easy to miss things. We had a very condensed time before the flight. As I was jumping in they were fueling the airplane before the flight and I had just a few minutes to think about what I had done in the Round of 8 to fix in the Final 4. It was a roller coaster day. Race Director, Jim DiMateo was great – he said ‘when you’re ready we’re ready, so take your time’. So I took a minute or two to get into race mode and then went out and did it.”
Round of 8 rival, Martin Sonka, was disqualified by the Race Committee for a technical infraction: exceeding the allowed 2950 rpm for 4.4 seconds, placing him 8th in the race. Goulian did not lose his focus under the pressure and turned a solid 58.083 second lap, which earned him the 3rd place on the podium.
“We had a little trouble during practice earlier this week and Pablo helped by studying the trajectory, and it has improved. During the qualifiers everything was well pinned and the Round of 14 went well, but in the last two races it was not so good. I may have lost the tempo and on this circuit we quickly lose time. But I’m really happy with my final result and my whole team.”
Sunday marked Goulian’s second podium in the team’s 2018 season. Never before in Goulian’s 10-year RBAR career has the team seen consecutive podiums, until now.
Goulian still leads the world championship with 24 points, but Australia’s Matt Hall is now on his heels with 21 points and Japan’s Yoshi Muroya is in third with 19 total points.
The pilots will reconvene on May 26-27 in Chiba, Japan for the 3rd race of the series.
Cannes 2018 overall results
2018 World Championship standings after race two
Photos courtesy Red Bull Content Pool