Mental Training And Mods Work For Bolton

Modifying his raceplane and flying technique is paying off for Bolton

Cristian Bolton is now in his third Master Class season, and despite his unquestionable flying skill, the Chilean's raceplane had always struggled to keep on the pace. But towards the latter half of last season, Bolton and his team had time to work on the raceplane, with some positive results soon following.

The start of the 2019 season saw mixed results for Bolton in Abu Dhabi. He performed well in the Free Practice sessions, finishing as high as third. He was unlucky though on Race Day – as the conditions changed, Bolton pulled too hard the VTM and was given a DNF for exceeding the maximum G. Despite the overall result, the Chilean pilot walked away with many positives from his season opener.

“We are pleased with the performance of our raceplane. Abu Dhabi was proof of that,” said Bolton. “We set a couple of good times in the track, especially on FP2 and FP3, so its a great feeling after a long process and lot of changes on the plane.”

It was easy to spot the difference in Fort Worth last year, as Bolton’s Edge sported a new set of winglets. “They are working great and with these winglets we have been able to increase the turn capabilities in the VTM and other high-G turns inside the track. At the same time, we’ve been able to manage the energy on these manoeuvres – this means we have more speed at the end of the turns, we can accelerate in less time and beat the clock. This has been an important change since we had some disadvantages last year against the other teams, so now we believe we have a good tool to keep flying fast,” explained Bolton.

The technical team also worked on reducing the weight of the raceplane, and since Fort Worth have made some further minor changes. The team is still evaluating, but at present are confident that the mods are currently working.

“We also made one last change, which was to my thinking. We found some areas where I was losing time due to my flying technique. I have now come back to flying more like my natural style, and for sure this is the correct way to fly my raceplane,” said Bolton.

Despite the volume of work that has already been undertaken, Bolton and his team are far from finished. “We never stop working on mods. We have to evolve, we need to pursue the best, and that obligates you to keep searching for news ideas to be better and faster than the others. I’m lucky because I have an amazing team behind me. They are the real magic behind all of this, and I’m glad to be able to work with them,” he stated.

Looking ahead to the continuing 2019 season, Bolton is sure of what he needs to do to in order to compete for podium positions in the Air Race. “Consistency is the key, you need confidence to get your consistency out there , so you can focus on small details that make the big differences between winning and being last," he explained. "All other 13 pilots are good and pushing hard out there, so as a pilot I need to find my pace, and I need to feel my raceplane is set in the correct way. I believe I’m getting in a great balance with my team, my raceplane and the tracks. So right now I’m focused to get the best of that mental and physical balance,” he concluded. 

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