Cannes 2018: Challenger Class Qualifying reactions

The pilots share their thoughts on today’s sessions

Ryfa cool for tomorrow

The gap between first and last is shrinking all the time in the Challenger Class and here the pilots talk about how Qualifying went, and their plans for tomorrow...

Melanie Astles
"It's magic for me to be in the track, I'm enjoying it a lot. Tomorrow it will be the same, the pressure hasn't been on my shoulders at the moment, and so it'll be good to keep it like that. I flew smoothly and relaxed so I'm in a good position. I had a lot fans come and visit which was really nice and it's great to be able to promote the sport. As a race pilot it's difficult to manage, but I hope it will give me wings."

Dario Costa
"I'm not very happy with my flying style in the Quali, I was better in the Free Practice. I think I tried to rush it, so I was a little bit erratic this afternoon. I will have to watch the video to see, but I wasn't fully satisfied. I think I could go a little bit faster if I go back to my smooth and calm style. The track is lovely though, I love the place, I love the track and the plane is fantastic, so there's nothing to complain about."

Patrick Davidson
"I was a bit rushed in Qualifying, it was my own fault. I had a really good plan and I think I did about 50% of it and forgot the rest! I think Gate 1 to 2 is very critical and the VTM, there's a safety line pretty close and it's easy to pick up a penalty, those are the points for me. I'm learning every flight and for me to push hard tomorrow would be silly, so I will try to keep a constant pace and fly the best I can without pushing the limits too much. I will see where that leaves me at the end."

Daniel Genevey
"I love this track and I feel good in the plane. I wanted to fly the same lines in Qualifying as I did this morning and it worked. I was a little bit less precise, but the end result wasn't too bad and I'm looking forward to the same tomorrow. Maybe I can catch some time in the VTM, but I'm happy with my lines. It's only our second race with the Edge, but I don't think pushing too hard would be the best solution, so I just want to fly a good line. The track is different from what we've had before and there are lots of different lines. I'm happy I've found something that works."

Daniel Ryfa
"I didn't expect that penalty at all, because it was for incorrect VTM, but from inside the plane it didn't look like that. I will find out find what the problem was and go from there. You always learn every time you run through the track. But overall, I'm super happy with the flight. I have to be sure not to relax because of Abu Dhabi and what happened there. It was a similar situation – you feel very comfortable as the winner of Quali and you have everything set, and then on Race Day someone sets a really good time and there is huge pressure. With the pressure, you might have to go full force, and then you start making mistakes. So we will see. Everything is possible."

Baptiste Vignes
"I think the key points are the VTM for me because I'm losing between two and four seconds. The track is fast and challenging, but pleasant to fly. The plan for tomorrow is to fly the same flight as today – be smooth, clean, try to not get any penalties and perhaps to try and be a bit faster in the VTM. I'm not looking to win, it'd be nice, but it's my first race in the Edge, so I will fly normal and smooth."

The Challengers will race tomorrow at 12:30 CET – watch all the action HERE.