The Master Class pilots pushed themselves to put on full-throttle flying instead of driving for fans at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. There were high stakes for points, and the high heat made for challenging conditions.
This was a battle for a solid performance as many pilots struggled to get comfortable with the speedway’s track since there were strong winds, and others faced technical problems. To move on to the Round of 8, Michael Goulian had to put the technical problems that had been the center of Team 99’s attention most of the weekend away and focus on a fast time on the track.
He laid out a great time, but his challenger Pete McLeod was faster. After Sunday’s Round of 14 against McLeod, Michael reflected, “When you fly against Pete, you either have to go big or go home. Pete can be really fast, but he also can make some mistakes. My job was to put the pressure on him and try to fly fast. We analyzed the lines all week, and we flew the fastest all week on Saturday with a 57.307 second run. We were happy with what we flew, but it was not fast enough.”
Nigel Lamb set the bar for speed in the Round of 14 with a record-breaking track run of 54.620, posing a threat to top contender Paul Bonhomme, but the Round of 8 was a huge setback for Lamb as he was quickly outraced by Martin Sonka. During the Final 4, Sonka fought hard to move his place in the overall standings above Hannes Arch, who still held onto third place despite not making it to the podium in the past few races. But under the Texas sun, Sonka had problems with incorrect flying and even hit a pylon, causing a fourth place finish. Yoshihide Muroya hit a pylon as well in the Final 4 but still claimed third place.
With these upsets in the Final 4, Bonhomme easily seized another victory, maintaining his lead as the top pilot with Matt Hall keeping a close second. They will continue their fight for the 2015 Champion title during the final Red Bull Air Race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fort Worth Race Results:
- Paul Bonhomme (GBR)
- Matt Hall (AUS)
- Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)
- Martin Sonka (CZE)
- Matthias Dolderer (GER)
- Nigel Lamb (GBR)
- Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
- Pete McLeod (CAN)
Team 99 has their heads up and eyes focused forward to Las Vegas with the same clear goal as always – breaking barriers to get to the Final 4.
Follow this link to get even more on Michael Goulian and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.