18 Říj 2015

Martin takes eight in Las Vegas Qualifying

Las Vegas, Red Bull Air Race No Comments

Martin Sonka took eighth place in Qualifying ahead of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship stop on Saturday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tuning up for final race of the season on Sunday in America’s gaming capital, championship leader Paul Bonhomme took third place the first round in the battle of nerves against his challenger Matt Hall, who was second in Qualifying

LAS VEGAS (USA) – Martin Sonka is hoping to finish ahead of Austria’s Hannes Arch on Sunday in the final race of the season to take third place overall but finished a disappointing eighth place in Qualifying on Saturday. Arch has 30 points in the championship while Sonka has 28.

The battle for third place overall could go right down to the wire with five pilots still in the frame to take third. Behind Arch and Sonka are Nigel Lamb (GBR) Pete McLeod (CAN), and Matthias Dolderer (GER) — all within striking range with strong results down the home stretch. Sonka will be up against American Kirby Chambliss in the Round of 14 opening battle on Sunday.

Japan’s Yoshihide Muroya came out on top in high-stakes showdown in Qualifying to win the honor as the fastest pilot going into Sunday’s final race for the first time in his career. Muroya stopped the clock in a time of 48.618 seconds while Hall was in second place with a time of 48.853 seconds in Qualifying in the world’s fastest motorsport series, where the pilots race at speeds of up to 230 mph. Bonhomme could do no better than third place in the high-speed, low-altitude racing just above the tarmac of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

By taking second place, Hall kept the pressure on Bonhomme, the Red Bull Air Race Championship leader with 67 points from the previous seven races and two-time world champion (2009 and 2010). Hall has 59 points. Hall is in the fight of his life to overtake Bonhomme, the most successful pilot in the sport’s history with 19 race victories in 10 seasons and 64 races to date.

Bonhomme said he was pleased with his Qualifying run and was determined to go for his fifth win of the season on Sunday even though he only needs four points — or finishing in fifth place — to clinch the championship. „As usual I’d love to win, but as we’ve seen in the past it is a numbers game and you don’t have to win every race to win the championship. I’d love to get a fifth win for the season but there’s no point smashing a gate down trying to get the win too quickly. The important thing will be to fly steadily, see what’s going on, see what the conditions are.“

With the eight-point lead, Bonhomme only needs the four points to clinch the 2015 world championship. Hall will need help from the other pilots to knock Bonhomme out of an early round and could only win the title if he is first (12 points) and Bonhomme finishes sixth (3 points) or lower. Hall could also win it all if he is second (9 points) and Bonhomme is ninth (0 points) or worse.