Red Bull Air Race 2017: Muroya wins in Germany’s Lausitzring
Yoshihide Muroya won the penultimate round of the Red Bull Air Race 2017 season on Sunday 17 September, when he flew the perfect race and set the fastest time to take the win.
The Japanese pilot was second to fly in the track in the Final Four round, and knew that he had to beat 50.846s, set by Matt Hall (AUS), who flew first.
Muroya's split times were all green as he gained time on his Australian rival in his run. Muroya crossed the finish line in 50.451s and pushed ahead of Hall.
Next out of the blocks was Juan Velarde (ESP), who had had an easy run to get to the Final 4. However, he unfortunately picked up a penalty at Gate 11 for incorrect level flying. That two second penalty put an end to Velarde's hopes as he finished with a time of 53.680s.
All eyes then turned to championship leader Martin Sonka (CZE), who in front of a large crowd of Czech fans, was the favourite for the win. He pushed hard and was penalty free, but the split times started in the red and stayed there. He was unable to topple Muroya's time and finished third.
This all makes for a thrilling season finale in Indianapolis next month. 11 points separate the top four pilots, so there is everything to fight for.
In the Challenger Class, pilots also had everything to fight for. Daniel Ryfa (SWE) flew one of his fastest times of the week to take the win with a lightning quick run of 59.931s. His great friend and rival Florian Bergér was closest to Ryfa and was only 0.013s behind the Swedish pilot.
Melanie Astles (FRA) meanwhile will be kicking herself as she became only the second pilot this week to hit a pylon. This three second penalty saw her finish fifth – although she has still done enough to claim her spot in the Final race, which will be held in Indianapolis over the weekend of 14-15 October.
Full results at www.redbullairrace.com
Photo: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool