Returning to Budapest for the 10th year within the series, American pilot Michael Goulian delivered a solid 4th place over the Danube River today at the midway point of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race Series.

Goulian kicked off the day by dueling Japan’s Yoshi Muroya in the Round of 14; flying cleanly and aggressively with a final time of 57.504, putting pressure on the Japanese Pilot to perform. Muroya ultimately received a DNF for an Over G in Gate 7, and the Fastest Loser spot was then settled to Frenchmen Francois LeVot.

The Round of 8 clicked along, with Murphy vs. Goulian – a classic repeat head-to-head match up in the 2018 season. Murphy took to the track first but picked up a total of 4 seconds of penalties. The time to beat? 1:02.264. Goulian was cleared into the track but the American pilot found a penalty himself: +2 seconds for a final time of 59.486.

The team found themselves in the Final 4 again for the fourth time in a row this season. After a pylon hit in gate 3 and a handful of penalties to keep all of you on your toes, he finished the race with a time of 1:04.256: 4th place overall!

“Before the season started we set out a plan to be consistently in the Final 4. If we can get to the Final 4 every race and then be consistently on the podium, we are going to be vying for the World Championship come the end of the season and I think we are well on track to do that. There are tracks where we expected to have trouble and this was one of them because there was just so much energy in the VTMs that made getting the airplane turned around a little tricky and it was a high-risk track so to come out of Budapest and also Chiba with great results gives us really good momentum going into Kazan where we expect a favorable track and definitely Indianapolis as well, where we have done well in the past.” commented the team’s Race Analyst and Manager, Pablo Branco.

This result retains the team’s second place in the overall World Championship standings, and solidifies the best start to a season the team has ever seen.

“A couple years ago if we were given the opportunity to be halfway through the season in second place, two points behind the leader with four Final 4s, we would have taken it. We are super proud and happy to be in the position we are.”

Current Red Bull Air Race World Championship Standings:

  1. Hall (AUS) – 45 pts
  2. Goulian (USA) – 43 pts
  3. Sonka (CZE) – 34 pts
  4. Brageot (FRA) – 27 pts
  5. Muroya (JPN) – 19 pts
  6. Dolderer (GER) – 15 pts
  7. Le Vot (FRA) – 15 pts
  8. McLeod (CAN) – 11 pts
  9. Chambliss (USA) – 10 pts
  10. Velarde (ESP) – 9 pts
  11. Murphy (GBR) – 9 pts
  12. Kopfstein (CZE) – 8 pts
  13. Bolton (CHI) – 6 pts
  14. Ivanoff (FRA) – 5 pts

Final 4 result:

  1. Sonka (CZE) – 57.502
  2. Brageot (FRA) – 57.849
  3. Hall (AUS) – 58.163
  4. Goulian (USA) – 1:04.256

Master Class Budapest Results:

  1. Sonka (CZE) – 15 pts
  2. Brageot (FRA) –  12 pts
  3. Hall (AUS) – 9 pts
  4. Goulian (USA) – 7 pts
  5. Le Vot (FRA) – 6 pts
  6. Bolton (CHI) – 5 pts
  7. Ivanoff (FRA) – 4 pts
  8. Murphy (GBR) – 3 pts
  9. Kopfstein (CZE) – 2 pts
  10. Chambliss (USA) – 1 pt
  11. Muroya (JPN) – 0 pts
  12. McLeod (CAN) – 0 pts
  13. Velarde (ESP) – 0 pts
  14. Dolderer (GER) – 0 pts

Photos courtesy Red Bull Content Pool.