Ascot had another dream ending for the British – basking in their native pilot’s glory at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The grandstand was jam-packed as the audience watched Paul Bonhomme fly flawlessly to take the win at the Royal Ascot Racecourse, but the victory was not an easy sweep. As a favorite location for all of the pilots, everyone was flying hard, fast and with great intent to reach the podium. This race changed the standings and shifted many pilots’ positions, including Michael Goulian.
Ascot turned out to be an okay race for Team 99. Goulian flew a very clean run and almost made the Round of 8. He had the 6th fastest time in the heat but just missed out by flying half a second slower than Nicolas Ivanoff. “We ran some very fast times in practice but couldn’t achieve the same speed on race day. We’re working on trying to achieve more consistent speed. We’re showing flashes of brilliance, but we can’t always duplicate it,” he explained.
Though, the biggest upset of the race weekend was for Austrian pilot Hannes Arch. In the Round of 8, he and Bonhomme were pitted against each other – the two top pilots fighting for the Red Bull Air Race champion title. Bonhomme flew a fast run, but as rival Arch was gearing up to race, his engine failed. He couldn’t even fly, and this technical error cost him the spot in the Final 4 and his second place ranking in overall standings. He now sits at 3rd behind first place Bonhomme and second place ranking Matt Hall.
Ascot Race Results:
- Paul Bonhomme (GBR)
- Matt Hall (AUS)
- Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)
- Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
- Nigel Lamb (GBR)
- Peter Besenyei (HUN)
- Martin Sonka (CZE)
- Hannes Arch (AUT)
Team 99 is ready for the next race in Spielberg, Austria 5-6 September and the exciting possibilities that await them. “The goal for Spielberg: go fast but be consistently fast,” says Goulian.
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