Qualifying Day at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship’s French debut was nothing short of a spectacular display of speed and precision, as the track record fell six times ­­– including USA’s Michael Goulian surpassing himself by an unbelievable one-thousandth of a second with 57.074 in his first Qualifying run and 57.073 in his second, positioning him at the top of the pole.

Goulian stated, “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win Quali here today. It seemed to take longer to adjust to this track. I think if we can do this again tomorrow, we’ll be sitting pretty. That’s the goal – to keep everyone chasing us.”

The Qualifying session in Cannes was one of the closest in the sport’s 13-season history. The top 12 pilots all finished their runs within two seconds of each other!

“Here in Cannes, it seems every part of this track is critical, and I’ve been a little bit slow to adapt to this track. The goal for tomorrow is to try to fly very tightly and consistently 3 times.”

Results Master Class Qualifying, Cannes 2018:  1. Michael Goulian (USA) 57.073, 2. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 57.189, 3. Matt Hall (AUS) 57.194, 4. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 57.396, 5. Mika Brageot (FRA) 57.454, 6. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 57.456, 7. Juan Velarde (ESP) 57.688, 8. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 57.796, 9. Pete McLeod (CAN) 58.166, 10. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 58.797, 11. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 58.824, 12. François Le Vot (FRA) 59.073, 13. Martin Šonka (CZE) DNF, 14. Ben Murphy (GBR) DNF

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Photos courtesy Red Bull Content Pool

About Team Goulian
Michael Goulian is one of the most experienced and determined contenders for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, and since his first race in 2004 the American has accumulated career highlights including memorable wins at the iconic stops of Budapest, Hungary (2009) and Abu Dhabi (2018). Before beginning his racing career, Goulian earned the US National Unlimited Aerobatics Championship and the National Advanced Aerobatics Championship, and he continues to be a popular performer of aerial demonstrations. Goulian is one of just seven pilots ever to earn the triple crown of industry honors for airshow flying: the Art Scholl Memorial Award, the Bill Barber Award and the ICAS Sword of Excellence. Goulian further holds the distinction of being an honorary member of the legendary US Navy Blue Angels. Based in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA, the team flies the number 99 Edge 540.
www.mikegoulian.com #goulian

About Alpina
Alpina, famous for its red triangle signature, is a fine watchmaking manufacture based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1883, Alpina’s watchmaking history spans more than 130 years. A true pioneer of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Alpina has been the source of numerous patents and innovative calibers. Alpina invented the concept of the Swiss sport watch, as we know it today, with the birth of its legendary Alpina 4 in 1938.
Today, Alpina is one of the very few Swiss watch companies, which develops, produces and assembles its movements entirely in-house. Alpina proposes five in-house calibers: the AL-980 Tourbillon; the AL-718 World Timer; the AL-950 Automatic Regulator; the AL-710 Automatic Small Date, and, most recently, the AL-760 Flyback Chronograph, featuring the patented “Direct Flyback” technology. Faithful to its long tradition of innovation, in 2015 Alpina introduced the first connected Swiss Made Horological Smartwatch, thereby creating a new watch category in the Swiss watch industry.
Alpina’s mission is to design and engineer luxury sport watches that operate with the greatest precision and reliability possible in the most demanding sporting environments, like the Alps. www.alpinawatches.com #alpinawatches

About Red Bull Air Race
Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the globe. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship. www.redbullairrace.com