Thousands of spectators gathered at the famous royal Ascot racecourse near London on Sunday to watch the 5th stage of the 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship closely. The 14 pilots wowed them with a thrilling showdown.
At perfect conditions, the world’s best pilots once again took over the air space above the royal lawn. Following technical difficulties, Austrian Hannes Arch had problems at the beginning of the race day. At the Round of 14, he could do nothing against the strong flight of Australian pilot Matt Hall. But thanks to the later disqualification of Czech pilot Petr Kopfstein, Arch was allowed to enter the Round of 8. In a thrilling duel, he defeated Brit pilot Nigel Lamb who did his last race in front of his home audience.
In the Round of 4, Australian pilot Matt Hall set an impressive time that even championship leader Matthias Dolderer couldn’t top. The German had constantly shown good flights over the weekend and again delivered a very fast time, but not fast enough to beat Hall. Styrian Hannes Arch had to go for a “safety climb-out” but due to his strong times and strong nerves took third place taking precious championship points into the last 3 races of the 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. “We had many technical problems during the week. We even had to change the cylinder. That’s why I didn’t have the time to really focus on racing. After the Round of 14, I had already finished with the race. I was surprised when I was back in the game. Maybe I was not absolutely focussed after that. Anyway, I’m really happy with 3rd place,” Hannes Arch stated. 4th place went to Michael Goulian (USA).
Results Red Bull Air Race Ascot 2016
1. Matt Hall (AUS) 01:03.426
2. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 01:04.887
3. Hannes Arch (AUT) DNF
4. Michael Goulian (USA) DNF
Red Bull Air Race World Championship Ranking 2016 (after 5 of 8 races):
1. Matthias Dolderer (GER, 53.25 points), 2. Hannes Arch (AUT, 35), 3. Matt Hall (AUS, 33.75), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA, 27.25), 5. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA, 26), 6. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN, 25.50), 7. Nigel Lamb (GBR, 24.75), 8. Martin Sonka (CZE, 20), 9. Michael Goulian (USA, 14.75), 10. Pete McLeod (CAN, 12.50), 11. Francois LeVot (FRA, 10), 12. Juan Velarde (ESP, 9.25), 13. Peter Podlunsek (SLO, 4), 14. Petr Kopfstein (CZE, 2)