Vying for Consistency, Team Goulian placed 2nd in the Qualifying runs today at the season kickoff race in Abu Dhabi. Remaining in the low to mid 53-second track times, the team, raceplane, and pilot have been achieving these track times at all of the 3 practice sessions this week.

The races times have been very close all week. With 8 of the 14 pilots within 1.5 seconds of each other, any of the 14 Master Class pilots could take home the win.

Everybody is comfortable here because we’ve been training this whole week. We’ve had a plan and we’re sticking to it, and we’re just going to try to get everyone to catch us. We have a great airplane and amazing team, and now we just have to equal that performance in the track. – Goulian

Part of the reason for great track times may be attributed to the team’s goal of reducing the weight of the aircraft over this winter. Every pound off the race plane meant one hundredth of a second off the track. With a 35 pound weight reduction, the team accomplished miracles in only a few weeks. For more details on how the team achieved this goal, read AOPA’s article on Michael and Kirby Chambliss: “Red Bull Race Pilots Pass on Dessert“.

Goulian faces off against French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff Saturday in the second to last heat of the Round of 14.

For complete Qualifying coverage and track times, head over to Red Bull Air Race’s article.

The race kicks off tomorrow [Saturday] at 2pm GST (5am ET). Live stream available at redbullairrace.com/live and nbcsports.com/live

Photos courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool.