Australia's Matt Hall has made his intentions for the race win crystal clear in the final Training session here in Budapest this afternoon.
In the last Training ahead of Qualifying later today, Hall stormed ahead with a satisfactory half-second lead over second place Hannes Arch as the pilots refined their racing lines over the river-based track.
Hall has nailed three out of three pre-Qualifying sessions in Budapest, and is the pilot to beat in the fourth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Although Hall put in two clean runs today, his Training 2 time from Friday remains as the track record. But with both former World Champions Arch and Bonhomme in pursuit, there'll be absolutely no room for error in Qualifying, and on the upcoming Race Day. Hall has still got his work cut out, but with a knack for consistent results and a cool, calm and collected mentality, the former military pilot remains the hot favourite to take the win in Budapest.
After a string of erratic runs in the racetrack yesterday, Rovinj race winner Hannes Arch has refined his performance with two error-free runs to challenge both Bonhomme and Hall for the top step of the podium tomorrow.
Czech pilot Martin Sonka is also quietly moving his way up the timesheets, and could well be heading to the podium if he can shave off a little more time to go sub-59. With his first podium place under his belt, and a steady improvement in his performance throughout the season, Sonka will be on everyone's radar as a definitive threat when it comes to claiming World Championship points. And US pilot Michael Goulian - who previously won the Budapest race in 2009 - is racking up a number of promising performances, and could well offer a surprise result here in the Hungarian capital.
But the one of biggest challenges for the Master Class pilots is not only pinpoint accuracy - one of Bonhomme's many strengths - but the heat. With temperatures dipping above the 30C mark it's imperative to keep the race plane engines cool to enable optimum performance. The technicians and engineers have been working relentlessly, and the fastest Qualifying pilot here today will surely be the result of a true team effort.
Here are the official results for Masters Training 3: