In a day full of surprises, Hannes Arch won today in Rovinj a characteristically electrifying performance. His time of 00:59.01 was just 0:00.08 ahead of Paul Bonhomme, in a final that had fans both here in Croatia and around the world on the edge of their seats. Japan's Yoshi Muroya made the podium for the first time in his race career after pushing Canada's Pete McLeod into a reluctant fourth place.
Austria's Hannes Arch came from behind to beat defending champion Paul Bonhomme in a riveting final in the second stop of the eight-leg Red Bull Air Race World Championship on Sunday in Rovinj, Croatia. Arch was trailing Bonhomme at the midway point of the final round by 0.23 seconds but opened the throttle with a full power second lap on the obstacle course set up on the Adriatic Sea. This marked his eighth career victory and evened the score with his British rival at the top of the 2014 championship standings at 21 points each. The Austrian, who won the 2008 championship, posted the fastest time of the day.
"It's really special," said Arch, who has said he felt lifted by a surge of support this weekend from the big crowd in Rovinj, a stunning town on a peninsula known as the blue pearl of the Adriatic. "I have to admit I had a few tears in my eyes. It was so close." Muroya celebrated his first-ever podium after a series of strong performances through the first two knock-out rounds but many top contenders saw their hopes of the podium dashed by podium hits and penalties.
Official results for the second round of the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Rovinj, Croatia:
1. ARCH Hannes (AUT) 00:59.01
2. BONHOMME Paul (GBR) 00:59.09
3. MUROYA Yoshihide (JPN) 01:00.13
4. MCLEOD Pete (CAN) 01:01.72
5. IVANOFF Nicolas (FRA) 01:01.67
6. SONKA Martin (CZE) 01:03.06
7. HALL Matt (AUS) DNF
8. LAMB Nigel (GBR) DNS
9. DOLDERER Matthias (GER) DNF
10. CHAMBLISS Kirby (USA) DNF
11. BESENYEI Peter (HUN) DNF
12. GOULIAN Mike (USA) DNF
Current standings and results can be found here.