With near-perfect flying conditions, here’s what the Challengers thought of today’s flying sessions and the Abu Dhabi racetrack…
For 2019 some of the pilots have a sleek new look for the upcoming season. Pete McLeod, Cristian Bolton and Mika Brageot all have completely new looks and Juan Velarde has tweaked his Edge for the year ahead...
In 2018, Dario Costa of Italy and Patrick Davidson of South Africa began their Red Bull Air Race careers in the World Championship’s feeder category, the Challenger Class. Costa collected a fourth-place finish in his opening race, then a podium – the first ever for Italy – with third at race two in Cannes. Davidson, meanwhile, earned his first pole position as well as second place in Kazan, plus another pole and third at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Before we take to the skies for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race season, Matt Hall and Michael Goulian talk to Martin Sonka about all things Air Race, from the race format and trying to win the championship again, to how his wife feels about him kissing his plane...
It's been two months since Katowice's Luke Czepiela set a new motorsport milestone by winning the 2018 Red Bull Air Race Challenger Cup, making him the first pilot from Poland to claim a title in the sport. With the new year underway, the freshly minted champion shares how the triumph has affected him – and previews the 2019 campaign.
As is tradition with the season opener the pilots get extra training sessions in the track before Free Practice. Normally it's to shake the cobwebs loose, make sure the plane is running correctly and get G-ready for the race ahead.
1) Goulian pulls an upset at the season opener
At the kickoff in Abu Dhabi, the USA's Michael Goulian faced down defending World Champion Yoshihide Muroya of Japan in the Final 4 and came away with his first win since 2009. In a career-best season, it would not be his last.
Nearly 1,000 pilots took part in the Fort Worth race, which was a replica of the real-life track the Master Class pilots flew. Austrian Werner Pany – the 2016 champion – took the win in fine style, with a run time of 45.2085s. His time was best by far, followed up by Ecuador's hbk23henry, who was only 0.078s behind his rival.
Asking Murphy if someone had told him at the start of the year he was going to have such a breakthrough season he wouldn't have believed it. "It's clearly gone a lot better then we could've expected or hoped at that point," he said. "I think that's tempered by the fact that we didn't really know what to expect. We had a new aeroplane, a new team and the obvious expectation was that we'd be playing second fiddle to all these more experienced teams.