A lot has been said this season about racing in front of home fans and the advantage it can give a pilot, or an athlete in any sport. Well, now it's time for Kirby Chambliss, Michael Goulian and Kevin Coleman to see if they can get that extra boost from their home fans.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship returns to the US for the final two rounds. It makes its debut at the home of US motorsport, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then the season finale will once again take place in Las Vegas. And there are (at least) three pilots that are happy about it...
Kirby Chambliss, a native Texan who lives in Arizona, is one of the most successful pilots ever to grace the World Championship. He's been showing his form of old this season and is hoping that he can make it to the top step of the podium. "I'm excited about winning anywhere but it's great to win in your own home country," said Chambliss.
Goulian has been getting so close to the podium that he and his team are starting to feel they deserve to be holding a trophy come the end of race weekend. Indianapolis could be classed as Goulian's home race as it'll be the closest to his home state of Massachusetts. He believes now that the World Championship is Stateside, he has a distinct advantage. "It's nice to know the only issue I have is sleeping in a hotel room, not sleeping in a hotel room with jet lag – it's a comforting factor," said Goulian. "It's just one of the things that when you go to a European race you say to yourself: 'how will I deal with the jet lag? Will it be a good race for me or a bad race?' Now it's not on my mind, so I can concentrate on flying well," he explained.
The third American to be flying at home is Challenger pilot, Kevin Coleman. The Louisiana-native is having a fantastic debut season, claiming a win and three second-place finishes so far. In his last race, Coleman picked up five seconds worth of penalties, which saw him in last place, but his net time was more than 1.5s quicker than the race winner. He's now confident about racing in front of his home fans. "Even though I lost the race, I found a lot of speed in the racetrack and I'm looking forward to taking that to the race in Indianapolis," said Coleman.
One thing is for sure, the Americans are glad to be home and believe that the fans can help them get the results they're looking for. You can still get tickets for the race in Indianapolis taking place on 01-02 October, buy yours HERE.