The pressure mounts as overall leader Michael Goulian of the USA places 9th in Ft Worth’s Red Bull Air Race Qualifying Session. The USA pilot is locked in a three-way battle for the World Championship with Czech pilot Martin Sonka and Australia’s Matt Hall: the winner to be crowned here, the season finale of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race series.
“I think all 3 of us at the top of the standings want to win so you can’t deny there is some pressure that we all want to fly our best so I think that you just have to take that pressure and accept it and still try to use that as a positive force to try to go and fly well. We earned this place this year of enjoying the pressure this last race weekend of 2018.”
The day proved a challenge for Goulian, who was last to fly in a track that had conditions worsen as the day progressed. The American pilot posted a respectable time of 51.708, Qualifying in 9th place and setting up against Chilean pilot Cristian Bolton in tomorrow’s Round of 14.
To add to the intensity of the weekend, Friday’s Free Practice did not go exactly as planned for Team 99, when a pylon strike caused structural damage to #99’s wingtip and unable to fly until repairs were made.
“I hit a pylon yesterday in Gate 7, which is the Start/Finish Gate, where there were 14 pylon hits in practice yesterday on that gate alone. We did a bit of damage to the winglet, but the team worked hard overnight to get it repaired and the plane ready to fly again for Qualifying.”
Despite the weekend’s setbacks, Goulian remains poised with his eye on the prize and seems to almost look forward to the challenge: “The wind today is blowing us one way and for Race Day it will be coming from the opposite direction, so the track will be completely different tomorrow. The grandstands make turbulence within the track, so it gets very bumpy when its windy like it will be tomorrow. It will be a very hard race, but we went into this week knowing it won’t be an easy one and and I’m happy to take on the challenge.”
Watch as Michael Goulian battles it out for the World Championship on Sunday, November 18, 2018. For tickets, insider info and all the World Championship news: www.redbullairrace.com
Content and images courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool.
USA Broadcast schedule:
Watch LIVE on redbullairrace.com at 2:00pm EST
Sunday night replay:
NBC Sports TV & APP – Midnight (12:00am Monday) EST*
*check local listings for broadcast in your area
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