14 of the world’s best race pilots definitely had no easy task at this, the second stop of the season in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2016, in Spielberg. Despite the difficult conditions, the athletes raced with impressive precision and at speeds as high as 370 km/h through the air gates, didn’t allow the wind or the snowflakes to get them out of their zone, and served up a competition that was exciting to watch.
Petr Kopfstein, the Czech Master Class Pilot on Team Spielberg, was the first opponent of spectator-favorite, Hannes Arch. The Austrian won through with a solid, error-free run, earning appreciative applause from the grandstands. After a sparkling victory in qualifying, Spaniard Juan Velarde, who had already brought strong performances in this World Championship, took too high a risk on this particular race Sunday and was eliminated in the “Round of 14” for pushing too many G’s.
In the “Round of 8” in his home race, Hannes Arch met US pilot Kirby Chambliss. With a fantastic run, the Styrian definitely warmed the hearts of his fans at the Red Bull Ring. Clocking 57.254 seconds, the local hero put down a really hot time, one that Kirby Chambliss was not able to catch. Which then brought Hannes Arch, along with Pete McLeod (CAN), Matthias Dolderer (GER) and Nigel Lamb (GBR), into the finals – a top quartet for the grand showdown in Styria!
Canadian Pete McLeod opened the battle for trophies in this year’s Austrian appearance of the ultimate motor sports series in aviation. With a spirited flight, Hannes Arch temporarily took the lead, but then had to hold his breath. Matthias Dolderer has shown on countless occasions, why he should always be counted one of the favorites in every race. In Spielberg 2016, he followed on the heels of Australian Matt Hall, who had been able to celebrate the first win in his career in Styria in 2015. In similar fashion, the German also managed to secure his own first gold trophy and took over leadership in the World Championship. Hannes Arch congratulated his opponent: “I am super satisfied, even with second place. Of course, I always want to come in first, but I am pleased everything turned out so well. The team did great work and the fans were fantastic. And the fact that Matthias was able to pull out such an amazing run, incredible! He took lots of risks and he deserved to win.”
Spielberg Race 2016, Finale Results :
1. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 00:56.996
2. Hannes Arch (AUT) 00:57.336
3. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 00:57.349
4. Pete McLeod (CAN) 00:57.598
World Championship Overall Standings 2016 (after 2 of 8 races): 1. Matthias Dolderer (GER, 27 points), 2. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA, 19), 3. Hannes Arch (AUT, 12), 4. Pete McLeod (CAN, 11), 5. Kirby Chambliss (USA, 11), 6. Nigel Lamb (GBR, 9), 7. Francois LeVot (FRA, 9), 8. Matt Hall (AUS, 8), 9. Michael Goulian (USA, 6), 10. Peter Podlunsek (SLO, 3), 11. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN, 3), 12. Martin Sonka (CZE, 2), 13. Juan Velarde (ESP, 1), 14. Petr Kopfstein (CZE, 0);
Red Bull Air Race on ServusTV. On Monday, 25 April, Hannes Arch and German Red Bull Air Race Pilot Matthias Dolderer will both be making live guest appearances at 9:15 p.m. in the show “Sport und Talk aus dem Hangar-7”, at which time they will review all of the highlights of the Spielberg race.