Lake Balaton 2019 Reactions: Master Class Race Day

The pilots will fondly remember the first race at Lake Balaton

It has been a trying week for the pilots, but like the pros they are, they delivered a spectacular race. Here’s what they thought of it. 
1st Matt Hall
“That was good. I pushed pretty hard there, and I took all the angles I could. I could feel the gates going past, I could feel them whooshing past the winglets. That was about all I had in this track. I just knew I just had to go for it, because there’s no point in coming in second with the points at the moment. I have clawed back on Martin and I’ve definitely clawed back on Yoshi. It means going into this race in Chiba will be… not fun, but exciting. She’s a tight race, she’s back to how we were in Fort Worth last year, with [Martin] just leading me and Mikey as well, but this time it’s Yoshi.”

2nd Ben Murphy
“It feels absolutely amazing. We’ve had a really good week and we’ve been fast as well. We’ve just had our time hidden by a few penalties, so we knew we had the pace and it was just a case of progressing through and then just let it all hang out there in the Final 4. I couldn’t be happier. What a feeling to finally get on that podium!”

3rd Pete McLeod
“It feels good to be on the podium, and I felt good about today, it was relaxed for me and the team. I felt good in the plane, better than I have for a long time. I just went out there and flew three solid flights. If you look at all my rounds, the times were pretty fast. A penalty at the end, but I’m really happy with my flight because I went for it.”

4th Martin Sonka 
“I hit the pylon for the first time in a long, long time and it was just concentration. I was thinking one gate further ahead and that’s what caused it. It’s my fault and otherwise we enjoyed it here. Unfortunately it happened, but this track was really good because of the different choices in trajectories.”

5th Juan Velarde
“The Round of 8 was a little crazy, we made a tactical mistake. We were planning to do a left turn on the last VTM, because the wind was from the west, but then it picked up intensity form the north and I had to change the whole plan as I was flying towards the track and it is very difficult to do change your strategy from a left turn to a right turn, but I had to and got the penalty.”

6th Kirby Chambliss
“There were several ways to approach this track and I talked to Paulo and we decided on a plan that I flew. I was happy with my flying. We know that ever since Abu Dhabi we’ve had some performance loss with the motor, we’re trying to fix it. Martin is tough and I did what I could do to put the pressure on him. He withstood the pressure and moved forward, I didn’t."

7th Michael Goulian
“It was a mixed week for us. We struggled so hard with a lot of engine problems and didn't get the plane running perfectly until this morning. It wasn’t a distraction on Race Day. I didn’t think Pete was going to fly as aggressively as he did and what ended up happening is that I ended up flying too conservatively." 

8th Cristian Bolton 
“To be honest I don’t mind who I fly against, it’s just me out there doing my job as part of a team. I was surprised with my time. I need to check the data to see where I made a mistake, it has to be on the turns, maybe it wasn’t enough G. It’s something I need to work on and I’m not happy because I wanted to be in the Final 4.”

9th Petr Kopfstein
“It’s an amazing location, we really loved it here. We didn’t take lines that were as risky as yesterday, because you have just one run in the Round of 14, and we knew that Michael would probably fly straight and his plane is really fast. So we just took, let’s say, the middle position and it didn’t work. I flew clean, but it was not enough today. We have to speed up for Chiba.”

10th Mika Brageot
“Leaving the race after the Round of 14 is never a good thing, but the good point is that we pushed everything in and we had a fast line. Unfortunately, the Over-G in the very last gate was not welcome. But that’s the game. We had our mindset, we flew the Quali and were all set, all prepared. All the teams have a lot of members behind them to get everything ready: the planes, the objectives, the tactics, the pilots. All these make very strong teams all around the Air Race, so the race today is impressive and amazing. We were fast. We know that we are fast. Congrats to Kirby and it was not our day. That’s it.” 

11th Nicolas Ivanoff
“It was really challenging to fly here because we all missed the first day of Free Practice on Friday, so we missed out on a lot of information for the flight. To be honest, for sure the result is not very good, it’s really bad, but I flew more or less as I wanted to fly, as we planned with our tactician. But for Race Day I was a little bit too conservative in the line and a little bit too aggressive in the last VTM. However in the end the time is not so bad. We had a penalty for sure, but in terms of the way of flying it is positive. So it’s good for the next race. It’s a pity to finish in Europe like that, but what can I do?

12th Yoshihide Muroya
“I set up my tactics for north winds at 15 knots, and it was blowing in the hold before getting into the track, but when I started approaching the track it died down quickly, so it’s not something that happens normally. It’s unlucky. We didn’t get the result for the Round of 8 and Final 4 today, but there’s enough space to go for the World Championship in Chiba. It’s time to think about the next race and be prepared for it. I want to be on the top of the World Championship standings there.”

13th Matthias Dolderer
“The majority of the flight was very good, and at the last turn I took a little bit too much risk into Gate 13, so I had to lift the wing. Otherwise I would have hit the gate. Overall it’s very disappointing to come to the end of a career like it’s happening right now, so I lost the luck and maybe the knowledge of how to fly a plane. We made a huge effort to be able to race here with our raceplane, but in the racetrack nothing seems to be coming together right now.”    

14th François Le Vot
“It was a very good track, and I liked the location and the environment, but clearly, my race here was not a success. I think many issues from the very first Free Practice day triggered a kind of lack of confidence in my flights. I knew that flying against Ben would be a hard job, and I tried to push it a little bit more than in the practice flight, so the raw time was good but I took some penalties. It happens.” 

Related articles

The Red Bull Air Race Says Thank You

The pilots and members of the Race Committee offer their thanks
Read full article

A Recap Of Race History

A look back over the 14 seasons of the Red Bull Air Race
Read full article