In testing conditions, Nigel Lamb posted the fastest time in the Round of 14. Yoshihide Muroya was first out in the track and didn't handle the track conditions as well and collected a DNF for an over-G. In only his second race in the Master Class Peter Podlunsek has made it into the next round. Here's how the Round of 14 went down:
Heat 1 – Muroya v Dolderer
Muroya had a repeat of his Round of 8 result in Abu Dhabi when he pulled too many Gs in Gate 4, which meant Matthias Dolderer only had to post a valid time to go through to the Round of 8, which he did in fine style posting a time of 59.616s. "When I heard Yoshi had been given a DNF, I knew I didn't have to risk anything," said the German pilot.
Heat 2 – McLeod v Lamb
McLeod left out on the track in the Round of 14 posting an impressive time of 58.760s, which he would be happy with in the testing conditions. Lamb kept his raceplane low in the high-G turns and was able to pick up valuable time which was enough to see him through to the Round of 8, 1.321s faster than McLeod.
Heat 3 – Ivanoff v Sonka
Ivanoff entered the track at 188kts, and despite the slow entry speed he still posted a fast time of 58.272s, it was up to Martin Sonka to beat the Frenchman's time. Sonka was 6kts faster flying into the track. That would've set him up for a fast run, after the first lap his timing lights were green, but he lost pace in the second lap and wasn't fast enough to beat Ivanoff.
Heat 4 – Le Vot v Hall
Le Vot's raceplane is off the pace compared to others in the World Championship and flew a 1:00.748 run. Matt Hall, had been flying faster than that all week and just had to fly cleanly. Halfway though Hall's run he was just 0.071s ahead, but he picked up speed in the second lap and by the end was 1.898s faster.
Heat 5 – Chambliss v Goulian
Chambliss had been flying consistently all week, but hadn't found himself ahead of his fellow American in any of the timesheets. His Round of 14 time of 58.545s laid down the marker for Goulian. Goulian had been performing well all week and would've gone into the Round of 14 full of confidence. But he wasn't able to go through when he crossed the Start/Finish Gate 0.769s behind Chambliss.
Heat 6 – Kopfstein v Arch
Kopfstein was judging his turns perfectly in the testing conditions in the Round of 14 and posted a clean time 59.550s, which meant that Arch would have to fly fast and fly clean. Arch put the demons of last year behind him and flew his run 0.604s quicker than Kopfstein. There seems to be no pressure on the Austrian's shoulders in his home race.
Heat 7 – Podlunsek v Velarde
Podlunsek picked up a penalty in the Round of 14 and that meant his time of 1:02.047 left it wide open for fastest qualifier, Juan Velarde. Velarde pushed too hard in his run and collected a DNF for exceeding the maximum-G at Gate 4. After topping the Qualifying hell be disappointed with today's performance.
Round of 14 results: