Conditions in Abu Dhabi are perfect for racing at the opening round of the 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Breiting Racing Team pilot François Le Vot qualifies for the first Round of 8 in his career as Kirby Chambliss wowed the crowd with a spectacular time of just 59.864s, the only pilot to post under a minute.
Heat 1 – Sonka v Ivanoff
Martin Sonka kicked off the Race Day action but it didn't go well for Czech pilot as he was disqualified in the very first run of the day. He crossed the safety line at Gate 3. That meant Nicolas Ivanoff only had to post a time to go through to the round of 8, which he duly did.
Heat 2 – Kopfstein v Muroya
Petr Kopfstein in his first ever Round of 14 put in a great time and looked good out in the track. However he was up against the very experienced and determined Yoshihide Muroya, who was faster than Kopfstein by 3.855s.
Heat 3 – Velarde v Arch
Hannes Arch and Juan Velarde both picked up penalties for incorrect level flying through a gate, and it made for an exciting round, but Arch just nosed in front of Velarde by 0.077s.
Heat 4 – Le Vot v Goulian
François Le Vot posted a spectacular time of 1:00.653. Michael Goulian who was flying second looked to be losing out after the first lap, but the American made up time and finished in front of Le Vot by 0.099s. Le Vot's time was quick enough to see him go through in to the Round of 8 as the fastest loser for the first time in his career.
Heat 5 – McLeod v Lamb
Nigel Lamb looked to be going through to the Round of 8 but he turned slightly too early in Gate 12 and picked up a penalty for incorrect level of flying. Pete McLeod flew first which might have added to the pressure on Lamb when he posted a time of 1:00.408.
Heat 6 - Podlunsek v Dolderer
Peter Podlunsek was looking good but rolled out of a Gate too early and picked up a penalty. He posted a time of 1:04.992 for Dolderer to beat. Dolderer has been bristling with confidence since arriving in Abu Dhabi and that continued as he posted a time that was 2.691s faster than Podlunsek even though he picked up a penalty himself.
Heat 7 Chambliss v Hall
Kirby Chambliss flew faultlessly and was the first pilot to post a sub one-minute time in the Round of 14. This put the pressure onto Matt Hall. Matt Hall had a shocking round when he clipped the pylon at Gate 10 putting him out of the Race.
Master Class Round of 14 official results: