The first flying sessions took place in Spielberg this afternoon, with Paul Bonhomme breaking out as the top contender for the Race Day win.
Britain's Paul Bonhomme has given a very clear indication that he intends to hold onto his lead in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, with two flawless flying sessions at the Styrian stop. As the last pilot out in both Training sessions today, Bonhomme's clean and high-paced runs were on point as he set and then broke his own track record, ultimately clocking in at 56.171s in Training 2.
Hannes Arch seems to have recovered from his mid-season slump and has headed into his home race with a calm and calculating confidence. Sitting in second place in Training 2 at just 0.408s behind Bonhomme's fastest time so far, Arch appears to be testing the waters in these early flying sessions and will no doubt be far from happy with settling for a runner up spot in front of his home crowd.
Australia's Matt Hall, who is currently holding up a second place in the World Championship at just eight points behind Bonhomme, could not answer Bonhomme in either Training session. Hall's MXS-R seemed to lag behind with the straight line speed, but with Hall appearing to claw back time and nailing it with the vertical turns, he remains firmly in the race for the podium ahead of Qualifying.
Both Japan's Yoshi Muroya and Canadian Pete McLeod also put in solid performances this afternoon that could potentially see them take a podium spot this weekend.
Here are the official results from Training 1:
Here are the official results from Training 2: