The Fort Worth races of the past
The Texas-based stop was on the race calendar in 2014 and '15. The first time, it was race six of the season and a year later it was the penultimate stop. Here's what happened...
Fort Worth 2014
Heading to Texas in 2014, Hannes Arch was leading the Championship with 43 points, Paul Bonhomme was just behind on 41 and Nigel Lamb was in third place on 35 points. There was everything to play for at the speedway track. Race Day saw Lamb and Bonhomme go head to head in the Top 12 (only 12 pilots competed in the Master Class in 2014). Bonhomme won, but Lamb went through as the lucky loser.
Arch also got a place in the Round of 8, but we had to say an early goodbye to both Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian who failed to get past the first round.
Both Bonhomme and Arch were unable to get any further and both bowed out in the Round of 8, leaving a Final 4 of Nicolas Ivanoff, Nigel Lamb, Pete McLeod and Matthias Dolderer.
Dolderer was the first into the track for the final round and set a time of 55.208s, his slowest of the day. Next through the Start Gate was Lamb. He was nearly a second quicker than Dolderer.
Ivanoff was third, and he was full of confidence, as he had just claimed a podium at the previous round in Ascot. The Frenchman had been setting quick times all weekend, but saved the best to last. He crossed the Finish Gate in 54.118s. And with only Pete McLeod to fly, it looked as if the win was his. McLeod flew well, but was just over half a second slower than Ivanoff and pushed him into third.
The chase for the title was a lot closer after the race. Paul Bonhomme had crept into the lead on 45 points, but both Lamb and Arch were right on his tail on 44. The first Fort Worth race made for a tense finish to the season.
It was a two horse race as we headed into the penultimate race of the 2015 season. Matt Hall had just won the first race of his career and was sitting in second place on the leaderboard. He was on 50 points and Paul Bonhomme was above him on 55, so there was everything to play for.
Race Day saw Bonhomme up against Hannes Arch in the Round of 14, with Hall up against Lamb.
Bonhomme was able to blast past Arch into the Round of 8, but Hall lost out to Lamb and had a nervous wait until it was clear that he was going through as the fastest loser.
In the Round of 8 Bonhomme was up against Pete McLeod and Hall was going up against Dolderer – who was the fastest in Qualifying. When McLeod was given a DNF for exceeding the G-limit it was an easy route for Bonhomme into the Final 4. Hall squeaked past Dolderer by just 0.360s.
Martin Sonka and Yoshihide Muroya joined the other two in the Final 4. Sonka was first to fly but a pylon hit and another penalty saw him post a time of 1:02.900. Next up was Bonhomme who saved his best 'til last and set a time of 55.285s.
Muroya was third to fly, but he also hit a pylon, and although above Sonka, was no match for the British pilot. Hall was last in the track and knew exactly what he needed to do to take the win. He was unable to beat Bonhomme's time and finished 0.767s behind the Brit.
It was a thrilling race and afterwards Bonhomme found himself eight points clear at the top with only the final in Las Vegas to come.
This year will be the third visit to the Texas Motor Speedway and a new World Champion will be crowned on 18 November, don't miss out, get your tickets HERE.