Goulian and Sonka dictate the pace in Round of 14
Martin Sonka set the fastest time of the Round of 14 and Michael Goulian wasn't far behind in a tense session, which saw Nicolas Ivanoff go through as the Fastest Loser. Here's how the Round of 14 panned out...
Dolderer v Brageot
Matthias Dolderer was flying beautifully in the track and looked to be setting a fantastic time, but at the penultimate gate he collected a two second penalty for flying an incorrect level. This mistake looked to have cost him. Brageot, never one to take it easy in the track, pushed hard and at Gate 7 also picked up a penalty, but his efficiency in the rest of the track guaranteed the Frenchman his place in the Round of 8.
Bolton v Sonka
The Chilean had been flying exceptionally all week, but Race Day nerves got the better of Bolton and he exceeded the maximum-G limit in Gate 6 and received a DNF, handing the tie to Sonka. Sonka pushed in the track and flew a 53.512s – his fastest time of the week and looks to be on form for today.
Le Vot v Velarde
François Le Vot was first into the track for his heat and was in good shape, but like Dolderer he received a two second penalty at the same gate and crossed the Finish Gate with a time of 58.109s, a time that Velarde could easily beat. Velarde was quick in his run but picked up a penalty for insufficient smoke, his final time of 54.965s saw him easily go through, but if it’s a technical issue with his raceplane it may cost him in the Round of 8.
Kopfstein v Goulian
Gate 14 did its damage here in Heat 4 for Petr Kopfstein. The Czech pilot is running in a new engine but set a quick time of 53.816s, until two seconds were added for his incorrect level. Goulian flew cleanly and smoothly in his run and that was enough to see him through to the Round of 8.
Hall vs Murphy
Matt Hall had raceplane issues in Qualifying and maybe that meant his mind was elsewhere because the usually smooth and efficient Australian picked up a penalty at Gate 7 for incorrect level. Murphy was 1.7s ahead of Hall’s time, but then his run quickly unravelled as he was penalised for an over-G and then hit the pylon at Gate 7 adding four seconds to the Brit’s time. If it wasn’t for his penalties, Murphy would have easily gone through.
Chambliss v McLeod
Kirby Chambliss flew right on the edge of the limits and posted a time of 54.194s. He pushed and at the end of his run he was under review, but the judges decided he was within the rules. This meant McLeod needed to fly smooth and cleanly to make it through. McLeod was looking good but also became a victim of Gate 7 and collected a penalty for incorrect level flying putting him just over a second slower than Chambliss and ending his Race Day.
Ivanoff v Muroya
Nicolas Ivanoff, who has been struggling this week, was able to fly smoothly and cleanly in his run and posted a respectable time of 54.705s. Muroya was a little bit quicker and also penalty free beating Ivanoff’s time by 0.605s. However the Frenchman progresses as the Fastest Loser, once again showing that flying clean is the best tactic.