Red Bull Air Race: Japan’s Muroya claims Qualifying win in Austria
Yoshihide Muroya of Japan was consistent across two Qualifying runs and has secured pole position for this weekend’s Red Bull Air Race stop in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
Germany’s Matthias Dolderer celebrated his birthday by taking second place on the timesheet, with Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic finishing third in the session that determined the head-to-head matchups for Sunday’s race.
The sixth stop of the eight-race season, Wiener Neustadt has been highly anticipated as a mix of the classic and the new: both a return to the Austrian roots of the Red Bull Air Race and a debut for the sport at a historic natural airfield.
The setting serves up the season’s first race over land, and the first with a standing start, which sees the raceplanes enter the Start Gate only seconds after they start rolling down the runway.
Pilots get two runs through the track in Qualifying, and the best run counts. Muroya produced the fastest time of all the pilots’ first runs, then, taking off again from the standing start, he topped his own time by one-hundredth of a second, for the day’s best result of 58.483.
Dolderer’s 58.800 made him the only other pilot to break the 59-second mark in the session, while Šonka logged 59.071.
Muroya, the 2017 World Champion who has yet to win a race this season, commented: “I felt confident coming into Wiener Neustadt, and our consistency gives us a good feeling for race day.”
With the knowledge that just two stops remain on the calendar after this Austrian race, he continued: “Of course we are aiming to win here and the rest of the races. We are always hunting the top guys, and we are still fifth position overall, so it's a bit far but not impossible. Race Day is different from Quali and I have to be focused – just concentrate on each session and go faster.”
Watch what happens in Wiener Neustadt! The last European race of the season takes off on Sunday, 16 September 2018. For ticket information and all the latest updates, visit www.redbullairrace.com
Photo credit: Balazs Gardi / Red Bull Content Pool