Kazan 2019: Challenger Class FP 1+2 Reactions

The Challengers get their first taste of the track

Today saw the Challengers test their racing lines in Free Practice 1 and 2. Here’s what they thought of their flying today…

Florian Bergér 
“First time for me here. I like it a lot, but the landing is tricky. I flew the racetrack for the first time today and I’m quite happy, more or less, with my timings. A few penalties I have to watch out for, like a pylon hit in Free Practice 2, but I’m pleased overall. I’ve seen the Kazan trophy and it would be very nice to have one at home, but all of the pilots are very strong, including the new guys, so we will see what happens this weekend.”

Kenny Chiang
“The track itself is good, but I’m very frustrated and my flying in the track isn’t going to plan. I had a good plan coming here, but it’s just not working at the moment, but we’ll see tomorrow if we can fix it.”

Patrick Davidson
“It’s a completely different visual aspect to fly in the track. You can fly on top until you’re blue in the face, but when you’re that low to the water and things are coming at you, real obstacles, it’s a different perception. So the first run I try to take it easy and just suss it out, and then in the second Free Practice I opened it up a little bit, and it went good. I enjoyed it. I hope the wind continues to blow, ‘cause I like it a lot. I come from the windy city, so for me it’s an advantage. But let’s see.”

Sammy Mason 
“I was a little nervous going into Free Practice 1 because I hadn't flown in a racetrack since Abu Dhabi, but it went well. I had no penalties, except for smoke, which is out of my control. Free Practice 2 was a little windy, a little more challenging. Still no smoke, but I was able to get in two clean runs and experiment with different tactics, and I felt more comfortable in the track on the second round. For the Challengers, I think the VTM is the make or break, with a lot of time to lose or gain, but also Gates 3, 4, 5 – that big curve – getting the angles right on that. So I think if somebody can get 3, 4, 5 right and two good Vertical Turns, they'll win. Let's hope it's me.”

Daniel Ryfa
“Free Practice 2 felt much better than Free Practice 1, much more controlled, but my times were better in Free Practice 1. Weather might have been a bit of a factor – was somewhat turbulent and it started to rain quite heavily. I tried three different things, and now I need to analyse to see which line will be the best for tomorrow. I’m looking toward three more podiums in the three races I have left. I still have room for three more trophies!” 

Patrick Strasser
“The track was different from this morning. It was a little bit bumpy and the wind had changed slightly, but we just have to adapt to this. I made a few mistakes, and got a couple of Over-Gs but no pylon hits. I’m really enjoying it.”

Baptiste Vignes
“It was my first podium here in Kazan in 2017 – I have good memories from here. It’s a brand new track for me, it’s tricky, but I like it. The two VTMs make this track special and I’m happy with my flights so far. I tried new lines in FP2 and I’m pleased with how it went.”

Race
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