After a shortened Training schedule, the Master Class pilots were more than ready to fly over Ascot once more. Here's what they said after a full-throttle Qualifying session:
"We could not be happier to put in our times and then improve in the second run. We'll come out tomorrow and have a great day, and are looking forward to some great flying conditions. The wind is looking more favourable. When you're strapped behind a race engine you can't hear much, but it's obvious that there's a great deal of support today. We're by no means done... I've done nothing today, this really is a way of warming up the raceplanes for tomorrow."
"All my flights were consistent today and I can replicate them again tomorrow. If I can fly error free tomorrow, like I did today, it'll be good enough to get into the Final 4."
"I've worked hard on my flying style for this track and it's a technical track, which is perfect for me. We've also worked hard on the raceplane so it would suit this track. When it comes together like it has today, it's great. I
"After my mistake in the first run, I had to make sure the second run was error-free, and I was under pressure. It seems I work better under pressure! The more I fly in my new raceplane, the more I'm pushing it and using more of its ability. But I've still not had too much time in it."
"There's more space in this track to go faster and push harder. It's interesting to fly here, but it's not easy. I stalled in my run and knew I was going to be slow, but I was prepared for that result. I know what I have to do tomorrow."
"I've improved in my runs today, but I still have to analyse the data and the videos to see where I can go. I can improve, but because of the ground start I have to make sure I have the right settings from the start so I can be fast into the track."
"I've got to find a bit more time in the track. I'm still hoping to get better as the weekend progresses."
"The standing start makes it unique, your race starts as you leave the line so you've got to get everything right. It's wonderful because not only have you got the pylons and the trees, there's also quite a wide variety of angles you can use in some parts of the track. It's a very challenging track and given my day in the office today, I'd be quite happy for a change in the weather for tomorrow!"
"Our first run was good, but I felt it was too conservative. So I went out on the second run and tried to fly harder, but harder doesn't always mean faster. I got too low in the track and lost my reference point for the chicane, so when I got to it I was off line and that cost me a lot of time."
"I've just got to try and fly penalty free. Gate 3 and Gate 11 were the problems for me today, but it's me, not the gates. I need to improve and Race Day brings it's own rules."
Francois Le Vot
"My goal this weekend is to fly clean and improve my times. I'm seconds behind the others, so if I fly clean I will then get speed afterwards. My approach will be to fly preciously."
"I'm happy, everything in the track was exactly as I expected, so our analysis and preparation work is good. We think we might change two lines, but we can't do much else with the lack of time we have. I'm going to check my entry speed with everyone else's to see how far behind our raceplane is behind the others."
"My net time's improving, but the penalties have cost me today. I got off to a slow start with the lack of training and it was a bad day in the office. I'll be flying against Matt tomorrow, so I've got my work cut out for me."
"In the first run I was behind the raceplane and it didn't fee safe amongst the trees so I climbed out. It's annoying that I didn't get a second run. I wanted to go out there and fly a fast time, but it's frustrating when the engine isn't working. On one hand, it's exciting, but on the other hand it's a challenge. But I'll take the challenge."