Muroya masterful in Qualifying
Yoshihide Muroya seems to have adapted to the new rules the quickest and it showed in Qualifying as he took the top spot, and with it the first three Championship points of the season.
Plenty of the pilots have struggled with the new over-G rule, where if they hit 11G they collect a one second penalty, however Muroya had no such issues when he set a session-winning time of 53.024s.
With the new scoring system, where the top three receive points in Qualifying, there was a lot more at stake for the pilots and it showed as the times kept tumbling throughout the session. The pilot that came closest to Muroya was Pete McLeod – the 2017 DHL Fastest Lap winner – he was just 0.216s behind his Japanese rival and collected two points, which were later rescinded following a technical inspection. Based on the fact that one magneto was out of the limit on the raceplane of Pete McLeod, the Race Committee made the decision not to award the Qualifying points that would normally be awarded in accordance with this placement. It was apparent that the issue was not intentional and so the ranking has been maintained.
Michael Goulian was third and collected one point, while World Champion Martin Sonka was fourth, just out of the points, but with a maximum of 25 on offer tomorrow, the Czech pilot won’t be too concerned with today’s result as he was exactly half a second behind Muroya.
Mika Brageot finished fifth in Qualifying, with Juan Velarde just behind him. Ben Murphy was in seventh and will face off against Matt Hall in the Round of 14, who finished just a little bit behind him. Hall was 0.768s behind the leader, making him the eighth and final pilot to finish within a second of the leader.
Matthias Dolderer in 10th and Kirby Chambliss in 13th both picked up a one second penalty due to the new over-G rule and will want to try exceptionally hard not to repeat the same mistake tomorrow.
The Master Class pilots begin their first race of the 2019 season with the Round of 14, which starts at 14:00 local time (10:00UTC) and you can watch it live HERE. If you tune in at 12:45, you’ll be able to watch the Challenger Class race as well.