Bolton and Velarde soar in FP3
In perfect racing conditions, Cristian Bolton put the hammer down and flew a 53.164s run – at the time, the fastest run of the week. He was only beaten when Juan Velarde went all out and crossed the Finish Gate in 52.820s – just 0.036s off the track record.
Bolton also had the disadvantage of flying first in the track, but it seems the modifications to his raceplane are starting to pay off. His first run was nearly perfect and his time showed that. Velarde was the only person able to beat Bolton’s time and knocked 0.344s off, putting him firmly at the top of the FP3 timesheet.
As the sessions have progressed, the gaps in time have reduced, with the top 13 pilots all finishing within 1.5s of each other.
2017 World Champion Yoshihide Muroya was third in FP3, just 0.001s behind Bolton. Fourth was Michael Goulian, with fellow American Kirby Chambliss behind him in fifth.
Current Champion Martin Sonka found himself down in sixth, the lowest he’s been all week. However, his first run included a one second penalty for an over-G and without that he would’ve been top of the timesheet with a new track record. Pete McLeod would’ve been another pilot to have beaten the track record if it wasn’t for an over-G – that little mistake saw him drop to eighth.
Matt Hall, the 2018 runner up, couldn’t quite put a run together and found himself down in 11th on the timesheet – he’ll be desperate to improve on that now that Qualifying comes with World Championship points.
The pilots will now be in their hangars, analysing the data and trying to improve on their lines before Qualifying, which begins at 16:00 local time, and you can watch it live – HERE.