What a day, what a race, what a venue! The Master Class pilots sum up round seven of the 2018 World Championship...
1st Michael Goulian
"I wasn't even thinking about the World Championship this weekend, but to win in Indianapolis as an American and a fan of the Indy 500 since I was a kid. Knowing I'm going to get my plane out on the track and kiss the bricks is still so surreal. I met Pete at breakfast today and we both said let's just fly fast. I flew well and when I heard Pete had flown a 1:04 I thought 'oh gosh'. But mission accomplished for both of us. Everybody wanted a fight to the finish for the World Championship, and that's what they're going to get."
2nd Pete McLeod
"It feels great to be able to complete a Race Day as planned and end up with some points and on the podium. It's been a tough season, there have been races where I felt I should've done better, but it came together here. Since we realised that we weren't going to win the Championship we focused on setting up a solid foundation for 2019 and some of those steps are already paying off."
3rd Nicolas Ivanoff
"It's really, really nice. We worked a lot as a team and we trusted what we did. The podium is good, but the best feeling was in the plane and we are heading the right way. I hope we are going to be able to go two steps more on the podium. It's a bit late in the season, but it feels good and I look forward to Fort Worth."
4th Ben Murphy
"It's been an eventful weekend for us. What's really nice is that the accumulation of this whole week came good in the end. We had so many struggles trying to get the power settings on this aeroplane. There were bits of equipment not giving us the information we needed and were slow as a result. The great thing is through all those troubles the team performed brilliantly, I wouldn't be able to do it without them. Being in the Final 4 is a good sign of things to come."
5th Cristian Bolton
"It's good because we went to the Round of 8, but I was looking for something better. I need to find out where I made a mistake to get that Round of 8 time. I'm not happy because it was an opportunity, but it's part of the journey. I have to learn, because I've made mistakes that have cost me a lot of points this season, and that's why I'm way down overall. Now I'm looking for points, that's very simple. I don't want to be last in the standings. I need to correct that and keep my pace in the flight. For sure if I can do that, it will be good momentum toward 2019."
6th Matt Hall
"I'm disappointed to have my mistake on Race Day. I had clean training sessions and Quali and then to have two penalties on Race Day... I need to do something about that. We had the ability to really capitalise today [with Sonka in tenth] and take the lead of the Championship, but we're still seven points behind and back in third place. It's a disappointing day. We know how quickly points can change. So Goulian just went from being nine points behind and out of the lead, to be leading again in one race. Things change very quickly in this game, so seven points... we can recover that. There are some big points at the top end of this game left for the last race."
7th Juan Velarde
"I think I focused the right way for this race. I heard Petr's time in the Round of 14 so I played it conservatively, that was the gameplan. Then in the Round of 8 I was a little bit more aggressive, and that's what I had to do, but I made a mistake after the VTM and I was out of the race. We have to be positive, the aeroplane is fast and I'm not flying bad, I just have to watch the little mistakes."
8th Kirby Chambliss
"I'm not in the Final 4 so I'm not happy. I'll be the first to admit we've had a tough time here. I was able to take Sonka out in the Round of 14 and I guess I found the racing line, but then in the Round of 8 I guess I lost it again. I heard Ben's time and I knew I had to go for it."
9th Mika Brageot
"Today the Round of 14 was amazing for us because the feeling was really great. We had tactics and lines that I followed well, and the VTMs were nice, but the time was a surprise. Maybe a question on the engine settings before takeoff, but we will look for that in the data. We are happy to stay in the top four or five overall, that's an amazing performance so far for us. We have spent the season tuning the aircraft as much as we could and reaching a point where we are all set from an aerodynamic and engine setting point of view. We are just looking to improve any elements to reach the highest level we can, always keeping in mind that we want to be consistent, and proceding step by step to not be too quick in the challenge and take the time to get everything right."
10th Martin Sonka
"Of course we are not happy with the result. The flight itself was more or less what I prepared beforehand. So it's probably an engine setting. We have to check everything and find out what happened. I was not thinking about the Championship so there was no abnormal pressure. My team did everything well and it felt like before every takeoff, and I think I was quite, quite concentrated. That's the sport, nobody can win every time. The only thing we can do is prepare as best as possible for the next race in Fort Worth, that's it."
11th Matthias Dolderer
"Generally it was not a bad run, but the whole thing fits the whole year. It's been a little bit of a huge unlucky year, 2018. I got an incorrect level for Gate 6. The time would have been good, actually, and I switched off the wrong switch on my panel because the prop controller didn't work, but I switched off the smoke pump, so that was my mistake. The focus is now absolutely on 2019. We will try to go to Fort Worth and wrap the season up with a good result to get rid of the bad luck, to resolve everything. Because the plane is fast and I am fast, it just has to work together."
12th Yoshihide Muroya
"I think this flight was OK and in the tail cam it looks OK, but the penalty was very close, so I need to learn a little bit more how to fly. Of course it's a disappointment but the flight itself was not that bad, so let's see in the next race. Now we'll do the best preparation we can for Texas, and that's going to be the preparation for the next season also – 2019 – so we are going to do our best and try to win."
13th Petr Kopfstein
"We are super sad and disappointed with the overall result, how slow we are. We really didn't figure out what's causing the problem. We know we can set up good times here – last season we were second in Quali. So it looks like the engine has some problem or we just didn't find the right setup. Of course there could be some flying mistakes, but I haven't seen the videos and data yet. But to my feeling the engine is not performing well. It's really hard to wrap up in a positive way when you're ending the season in the back, but it is what it is. Last year we were on the opposite side of the field. We need to learn from it, we need to make some adjustments, and that's what we're planning to do. We are going to the Zivko factory after this race, and we will spend five weeks there, trying to get the maximum out of the aircraft and get ready for 2019."
14th François Le Vot
"It was a very frustrating flight, really, because we had expected a much better result from the beginning. We began the Free Practice flights very well here, but since the Quali the timings just collapsed and we don't understand why. Maybe I'm a big part of it – probably – but right now I don't know what happened. For the next season we have to talk about it among our team and I don't know yet what we'll do. No major improvements on the aeroplane since we won't have time to work on it. So improvements on my side, probably."