USA’s Michael Goulian took the skies over Tokyo Bay today, for the final Qualifying session of the Red Bull Air Race series. Sweltering heat, a tight track, and the pressure to perform at the final race of the series resulted in an exciting day for race fans.

Goulian hit the track with a conservative first run, clocking 58.168sec. The U.S. pilot tightened things up on his second run but picked up a penalty of +1 sec for crossing the track limit line in Gate 9 by 4.4 meters (less than half a raceplane’s wingspan!) for a net time of 58.060sec, placing 8th overall.

Goulian’s thoughts on his Qualifying runs: “We went out there and did exactly what we wanted. The first run was fairly clean and the second run, I just went for it and it was a super-fast lap, one of the best of the day, but I got hit with a penalty for going over the track limit line which never even came into our minds…we never thought we were even close to it.”

Goulian faces off against friendly rival and World Championship contender Matt Hall in the Round of 14’s Heat #5.

“We absolutely know the line now, and I know how hard I have to fly the airplane to get that number again tomorrow. I think the whole idea for tomorrow is to just go out and do exactly like I did in Q2, three more times.”

SCHEDULE UPDATE: Due to incoming adverse weather, Sunday’s race has been brought forward to begin at 10am JST (9pm Saturday EDT). Follow all the action LIVE on!

Content provided of Goulian Aerosports. 
Images courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Content Pool.

Red Bull Air Race 2019 Calendar
8-9 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Lake Balaton, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan