Abu Dhabi 2019: Round of 8 preview

Eight pilots looking for the win, here's how they line up

The season has started with a bang. The top three from last year are through to the Round of 8. This is going to be one amazing round. Here's how the heats will play out...

Heat 8
Nicolas Ivanoff v Kirby Chambliss

The two most experienced pilots in the Red Bull Air Race – who have more than 160 races between them – will go head to head in Heat 8. Ivanoff went through as the Fastest Loser and is getting quicker with each run. Chambliss has also been improving, but also has picked up penalties along the way. Both are desperate to make it to the Final 4 – this will be a battle of the titans.

Heat 9
Juan Velarde v Yoshihide

Velarde and Muroya were split by 0.2s in their Round of 14 battle. So looking at form, this could go either way. However Muroya has a lot more experience in the latter stages of Race Day and will keep a cooler head, but if Velarde can keep his nerve this could go either way.

Heat 10
Mika Brageot v Michael Goulian

These two have only gone head to head once in the past and the honour went to Brageot. This season both pilots are fighting fit and will see this as a good chance to get to the Final 4. Both had spectacular seasons last year and will want to continue in that rich vein of form. When they face off it’s the pilot that flinches first who will lose.

Heat 11
Matt Hall v Martin Sonka

2018’s second versus first will round off the head to heads. Sonka has been in better form here in Abu Dhabi, but everyone knows that Matt Hall loves to spoil with a winning run. These two have raced head to head six times in the past and Hall has taken the victory four times. However, they have not raced against each other since Indianapolis 2017, so this will be interesting.

The Round of 8 begins at 16:00 local time – catch all the action right HERE.

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