Red Bull Air Race 2018 - Sonka (CZE) leads in qualifying round
Martin Sonka (CZE) delighted Czech fans in the crowd alongside the River Danube in Budapest today, as he took the lead in today’s Red Bull Air Race qualifying round in Budapest, beating Yoshi Muroya (JPN) and follow Czech pilot Petr Kopfstein (CZE).
Sonka set a time of 57.600s – a second faster than his time yesterday. Petr Kopfstein had set the early pace with a 57.872s, and was looking strong until Sonka flew and bettered his time by 0.272s.
What happened in the Qualifier?
The current World Champion, Yoshihide Muroya, flew after Sonka and crossed the Finish Gate in 57.632s, which wasn't enough to beat Sonka but pushed Kopfstein into third.
Sonka commented: “A great starting point for the race tomorrow but anything can happen!”
Current championship leader Matt Hall (AUS) was fourth, 0.485s behind Sonka. His fellow leader in the standings, Michael Goulian (USA) exceeded the G-limit and had to return to base, leaving him 13th on the timesheet.
Matthias Dolderer (GER) has withdrawn from the race altogether due to illness.
Ben Murphy (GBR) was unlucky and collected a one second penalty for insufficient smoke which seemed to be a technical issue with his raceplane. Without that penalty he would have finished fourth, however he had to settle for eighth and will face Kirby Chambliss (USA) tomorrow, who finished one spot above him.
Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) was another unlucky pilot, although he set a valid time of 1:00.141 he went into his second run looking to improve and exceeded the G-limit and had to return to base, seeing him in 12th and up against Kopfstein tomorrow in the Round of 14.
The Round of 14 begins at 13:00 local time tomorrow. Catch all the action HERE.
Budapest 2018 Master Class Qualifying results