Martin Sonka made an impressive start to race two of the 2017 season by being the only pilot to break under the 59-second time barrier in today's Free Practice sessions.
The Czech pilot finished his run in Free Practice 2 with a 58.465s, he was closely followed by Michael Goulian who was just 0.670s behind and Yoshihide Muroya in third.
Pete McLeod shone in the first Free Practice session when he topped the timesheet with a 59.058. Yoshihide Muroya and Petr Kopfstein were close behind, with all three finishing within 0.173s of each other. Five pilots broke the one minute barrier in the first session, along with McLeod and Muroya, Michael Goulian and Martin Sonka both finished in the 59s bracket.
McLeod showed his consistency by finishing fourth in the later session. The Canadian seems to like this track and it plays directly to his flying style.
The San Diego racetrack has caused the pilots to think hard about their lines. It's a technical track, with the high-G turn at Gate 3 and the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre at Gate 7 where the race will be won or lost. Peter Podlunsek struggled in both sessions picking up a total of eight penalties in all. New Master Class pilot, Mikael Brageot was unable to set a time in the second session due to two Safety Climb Outs.
Matt Hall, who was flying his new Edge 540 for the first time today, was off the pace, but as the Australian said, "We're not going to break any track records here, we just want to be consistent."
Current World Champion Matthias Dolderer did not have the best day, finishing the sessions in ninth and seventh place respectively. But the committed German will be keen to get back in the track and show his competitors why he's the World Champion.
The wind is another factor the pilots will need to consider when it comes to tomorrow's Qualifying session as each lap needs to be handled differently depending on the conditions.
You can follow all the Qualifying action live tomorrow right HERE.
Master Class Free Practice 1
Master Class Free Practice 2