Page 10 - World Airshow May-Jun 2017
P. 10


         Red Bull Air Race:                                   earned his first race win just last year.
                                                                 “I’m quite happy. We had a very hard time at the season open-
        Muroya Wins in San Diego                              er in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve been working really hard for months,”
                                                              said Muroya, who had an over-G penalty at the 2017 kickoff. “My
                                                              crew and my family have been helping a lot to help us get more
           For the first time in eight years, the Red Bull Air Race World   stable and consistent, and I thank them. The next race in Japan is
        Championship returned to San Diego, California April 15-16. The   going to be a big one, and it’s an important step forward to win
        second stop of the 2017 season, San Diego previously hosted races  here as I head to my home country. It’s a huge crowd and pressure
        for three consecutive years from 2007-2009.           for me, but I will have fun there.”
           Japan’s Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya had the most consistent   Šonka now leads the season series with 21 points. Dolderer is
        weekend, emerging with the victory by dominating the Final  second with 16, and Muroya is third with 15.
        Four on Sunday. Peter Podlunšek of Slovenia finished second, and   In the entry-level Challenger Class, 2016 Challenger Cup win-
        reigning World Champion Matthias Dolderer was third.  ner Florian Bergér of Germany earned his first win of the season.
           During Saturday’s qualifying round, Dolderer came out on top   American Kevin Coleman finished in second place.
                                                                                                Red Bull has also an-
                                                                                              nounced the locations of
                                                                                              the two European rac-
                                                                                              es previously scheduled
                                                                                              for September, officially
                                                                                              filling out the  2017 race
                                                                                              schedule. On September
                                                                                              2-3, the races will return
                                                                                              to Porto, Portugal for the
                                                                                              first time since 2009, then
                                                                                              two weeks later Septem-
                                                                                              ber 16-17, the air race
                                                                                              will head to Germany’s
                                                                                              Lausitzring race track.
                                                                                              This is the second consec-
                                                                                              utive year the races have
        Left: Yoshihide Muroya of Japan (center) celebrates with Peter Podlunšek of Slovenia (left) and Matthias Dolderer of Germany (right) during   been held at the German
        the award ceremony at the second stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in San Diego (Red Bull Content Pool photo by Balazs   motorsport hub.
        Gardi). Right: Yoshihide Muroya of Japan races through the Air Gates with the San Diego skyline as a beautiful backdrop (Red Bull Content   With races in Abu
        Pool photo by Predrag Vuckovic/Limex Images).                                         Dhabi and San Diego
                                                                                              complete, the remainder
        with a time of 58.332 seconds, but hot on his heels were American  of the 2017 schedule looks like this:
        Michael Goulian at 58.978, and at 58.980, the Czech Republic’s   June 3-4     Chiba, Japan 
        Martin Šonka (who won the first race in February in Abu Dhabi).   July 1-2      Budapest, Hungary 
        Qualifying determines the head-to-head matchups for the open-  July 22-23    Kazan, Russia 
        ing Round of 14 on Race Day.                                September 2-3    Porto, Portugal 
           Podlunšek was the quickest in the Round of 14 with an im-  September 16-17  Lausitzring, Germany 
        pressive time of 58.929, beating his heat rival Matt Hall of Austra-  October 14-15   Indianapolis, USA
        lia. Šonka struggled in his heat against Nicholas Ivanoff of France,
        but went through to the Round of Eight as the fastest loser. Mu-
        roya only managed a time of 59.280, but that was good enough   Coming to Oshkosh:
        to defeat Canada’s Pete McLeod. The other Round of 14 winners
        were Americans Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian, Dolderer,
        and Petr Kopfstein of the Czech Republic.             The B-29 Superfortress ‘Doc’
           In the Round of Eight, Goulian clipped a pylon at Gate 7, mak-
        ing it easy for Podlunšek to score the win in their heat. Chambliss   EAA has announced that the newly-restored B-29  Doc has
        had a slightly disappointing time of 1:00.855, but Ivanoff was as-  included EAA AirVenture 2017 on its inaugural tour schedule,
        sessed a two-second penalty for flying through a gate at an incor-  making it possible that two of these big bombers could appear to-
        rect level, giving Kirby the win. In the other two heats, Muroya   gether in Oshkosh in July. Doc has just completed its restoration
        defeated Šonka and Dolderer beat Kopfstein.           and flight test programs in Wichita, Kansas, and the planned ap-
           In the Final Four, it was no contest, with Muroya posting a   pearance fulfills a long-standing commitment to bring the plane
        time of 58.529, almost two seconds ahead of Podlunšek’s 1:00.454.   to Osh kosh when the restoration was complete.
        Nevertheless, the Slovenian stunned the field by capturing second   Doc was built in 1945 and for many years was part of a squad-
        place in his first-ever Final Four. Dolderer was third after a pylon   ron known as the Seven Dwarfs (hence, the name Doc). The air-
        hit, and Chambliss finished in fourth.                plane was retired in 1956 as the jet bomber age began and sat as
           The result was especially meaningful because the next stop of   a target for U.S. Navy training missions in China Lake, California
        the season is in Muroya’s home skies at Chiba, Japan – where he   until 1998. A restoration group took possession of the airplane

                                          WORLD AIRSHOW NEWS   10  MAY/JUNE 2017
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