Velarde powers through the Round of 14

Juan Velarde set the fastest time in the Round of 14

Velarde fastest in Round of 14

Race Day has begun and it's been thrilling so far, we've just completed the Round of 14 and here's how the heats panned out...

Heat 1
Muroya v Velarde
Yoshihide Muroya had to fly first and in an attempt to post a good time exceeded the maximum G-limit and was given a DNF. That meant Velarde only had to fly cleanly, which he duly did by posting a time of 52.795s and seeing him safely through to the next round.

Heat 2
Dolderer v McLeod
The current World Champion flew a good clean line and stopped the clock at 52.984s. Pete McLeod flew as well as he could, but was unable to beat the German pilot's time, crossing the Finish Gate 1.080s slower. However, McLeod had done enough to go through as the Fastest Loser.

Heat 3
Ivanoff v Kopfstein
Nicolas Ivanoff was the 2016 race winner in Abu Dhabi and flew perfectly in his heat, but his time was off the pace finishing in 54.208s. Petr Kopfstein had been the surprise of the race week, posting fast and consistent times, and was looking good in the build-up to the Round of 14. He was quicker than Ivanoff in the first two splits, but at Gate 10 he clipped the pylon and knew instantly his race was over.

Heat 4
Le Vot v Chambliss
Francois Le Vot has had a long battle trying to get more speed out of his raceplane, and although he only posted a time of 54.410s, it was clean and meant he had a chance of going through. Chambliss has been back to his best in Abu Dhabi and knew he could win. He was 0.237s quicker at the first split time and continued to gain time on his rival, but at Gate 10 he was given a penalty for incorrect level flying and that was him out of the race.

Heat 5
Bolton v Brageot
The two new Master Class pilots faced off in Heat 5. Bolton went first and flew cleanly, posting a time of 54.228s for Mikael Brageot to beat. The French pilot was 0.732s behind at the first split, but started clawing back time by the second split, although he couldn't catch Bolton, which put him out of the race.

Heat 6
Hall v Goulian
Matt Hall flew cleanly, but in his temporary raceplane he was well off the pace, practically handing the heat to Michael Goulian. All Goulian had to do was stay calm and fly cleanly. However, one of his passes of the gate was under review, but it was deemed within the limits, so Goulian progressed to the Round of 8.

Heat 7
Podlunsek v Sonka
Peter Podlunsek had a disappointing Qualifying session, and he was looking good and posted a quick time, but he crossed the safety line and was given a DQ. All Martin Sonka needed to do was fly a valid session, which he did, and posted a quick time, finishing third fastest overall.

Abu Dhabi 2017 Master Class Round of 14 results