After not racing in Chiba the Challenger Class pilots were aching to get back into the track for this weekend's double header. Here's what they thought of their first runs at the Kazan track...
"It's lovely to be back in the track. I've not raced since Abu Dhabi and I was a bit worried in the first run this morning, because it had been such a long time and we need to get good quickly. My aim was to fly the first run and just enjoy it and get the feeling back. And this afternoon I started to attack a bit more. I'm still two seconds off the top guys so I need to look at what they're doing and copy them."
"It's a great track, very similar to San Diego. But just because I flew in San Diego, it doesn't give me an advantage over the other pilots. It's still only my third race. I like the track and I'm very happy with the set up of the raceplane."
"This is my first time in Russia, and it's awesome. We started studying this track pretty early, about a month ago, because it had been a while since I'd been in the plane and in a racetrack; so I attribute our time basically to good preparation and everybody that helps me. So far, so good, but I know not to get too excited because last time I checked, they don't hand out points or trophies for practice. We've still got to go a little bit faster tomorrow because Danny [Ryfa] will be right there and some other people will get faster."
"I like the track, my times were not too bad. If you look at the timesheet, I'm low, but my net time was enough to see me second in Free Practice 1, I was just unlucky to get a penalty for flying too high in the gate."
"The track is wider than Budapest, which means it's another new thing for me to learn. But it's good to be here so I can learn my lines and improve my flying. It's very exciting and I'm learning a lot."
"It was great to get back in a raceplane, it's been five months since I was last in the racetrack. It's a great little track with several critical areas that offer different options. There is a trade off in how you fly, if you fly the really tight lines in the first lap, you're going to have less energy for the second."
"It's a super cool city and an awesome runway for us to take off from. It's a nice track to fly and there are some places you have to take care, but it's not too complicated, it's pretty straight forward. You have to do a 90 degree turn to enter the track, so you have to manage a lot, which is a complicated, especially when you're trying to get the correct entry speed. I'm happy with my flights today."
"It's an amazing location with an interesting track. It's very fast and there are several lines to choose from. I'm happy about my flight and I will work on how to improve them the next time I'm in the track."
The Challengers will return to the sky tomorrow. Follow all the action HERE!