Hannes Arch turned the tables to take a surprise victory in Rovinj with the closest win margin in Red Bull Air Race history, while Matt Hall's consistency wins out in the overall rankings.
Sonka's last run of the day had him full-throttle as he stormed cleanly through the track, hungry for a podium and his best chance of the season so far. The opening run of the Final 4 was a spectacular effort from the Czech pilot, whose time of 54.083 set the benchmark.
A revitalised Arch returned to the Final 4, needing to find some speed into the last half of the track. But it was a commendable final push from the Austrian, as he snatched the rug from under Sonka's feet and stepped into the top spot.
Next up was one of the most experienced pilots in the World Championship, Mike Goulian. The American took a cautious entry into the track but once he hit the pace, he was blasting through the track, clearly in control. But once again, it was a momentary lapse in focus and exceeding maximum G that brought Team Goulian's hopes crashing down as the pilot incurred a DNF and saw the winner's trophy slip from his grasp.
Last up, Matt Hall had everything to play for and was just seconds away from his first career win. His last run was pacey and fiery, but his Round of 8 run may have taken its toll as his split times remained in the red. A last burst of speed for the Final Gate was in vain as he crossed the line with 54.160, +0.148 behind Rovinj victor Arch, and a fraction slower than Sonka, who will celebrate a career-best result here on the Croatian coast.
"I realised that I was calm out there and realised the importance of keeping calm," said a clearly surprised Hannes Arch back the Race Airport. "I just tried to fly as cleanly as possible in the Final and not let the pressure get to me."
Arch has asserted himself as a World Champion contender, while consistency is paying off for Matt Hall and his long game, with the Australian now tying with Paul Bonhomme in the overall standings.
Here are the official results: