29 Kvě 2015

Martin pleased after posting third fastest time in Rovinj training

Red Bull Air Race, Rovinj No Comments

ROVINJ, Croatia – Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic posted a red-hot time in training on Thursday ahead of the third stop of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Rovinj, Croatia, taking third place on the time sheets behind only Britain’s Paul Bonhomme and Australia’s Matt Hall.

Sonka, clearly flying well at the first European stop of the season, flew brilliantly on the difficult track set up off the coast of Croatia on the Adriatic Sea and stopped the clock in 54.396 seconds. That was just behind the time of 53.471 by Bonhomme, the leader of the world’s fastest motorsport series, and close to Hall’s time of 54.192. Sonka, a former Czech Air Force fighter pilot, is looking for a strong result in the race in Croatia, one of the closest stops this year to his home in the Czech Republic, after a disappointing 10th place at the last race in Chiba, Japan.
„I feel very good here,“ said Sonka, who got a career-best third place in the last stop of the 2014 season in nearby Spielberg, Austria. „We feel like this a home race. I like it here, it’s almost like home. I travel often to Croatia. I know this area really well. The environment is beautiful and compared to Japan it’s a complete different country.“

Sonka, who is flying in only his third season in the high-speed, low-altitude sport, said he still has a lot to learn and wouldn’t let the disappointing results in the first two stops this year or his 13th position overall get him down. He knows it’s a long a season and he is confident he can climb back into the middle of the pack or even higher.

„This is my third season in the air race,“ said Sonka, looking forward to more training on Friday and Saturday’s Qualifying session before Sunday’s race. „I’m still gaining experience and of course I’m growing with every race. I feel better. It’s all about flying clean. The best strategy is avoiding mistakes. That’s the main strategy.“

Sonka said he is confident he can master the track in Rovinj even though there were a record 48 pylon hits last year when winds made it difficult.

„The track isn’t super technical or challenging or difficult,“ he said. „The winds blows 90 degrees into the track. The difficulty will be the issue of the over G. The part of track that was difficult last year is a little bit straighter now.“