October 2018 News
As the Red Bull Air Race returns to historic Indianapolis
Motor Speedway this Saturday and Sunday for the
penultimate stop of the 2018 season, the three pilots
locked in a battle for the World Championship cannot
afford even the smallest misstep. And the man in third
place overall – Michael Goulian of Massachusetts – came
out charging, producing the best time in both of Friday’s
Free Practice sessions. Also consistent, and consistently
close to the American’s results, were current overall
leader
Martin Šonka (CZE) and potential spoilers
Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) and Matthias Dolderer (GER).

Oct 5 - Anticipation – and tension – climbed in the Brickyard
hangars as rain caused several delays in the first of the day’s
sessions. But the American Goulian, who had finished in the
top four at every 2018 stop until taking 12th atthe September
race in Austria, erased any doubts that he might have peaked
too soon: Coming out with a time of 1:04.123 that was more
than half a second faster than anyone else in Free Practice
session one, he very nearly matched his own result with
1:04.241 to top the timesheet in Free Practice 2.

The fact that the same four pilots – Goulian, Šonka, Muroya
and Dolderer – took the top spots in both sessions sets up a
fascinating prospect for the racing this weekend. Šonka has
the potential to clinch the World Championship at
Indianapolis, while Goulian and overall second place
Matt Hall of Australia risk giving it away. But Muroya and
Dolderer clinched World Championship titles of their own in
achieving former wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with
Dolderer earning the honor in 2016 and Muroya just last year.
Both are determined to take victory at The Brickyard once
again, potentially upsetting the best-laid plans of the trio at
the top. Hall, meanwhile, finished in the middle of the pack in
both Friday Free Practice sessions, but the Australian is not
to be underestimated. The two-time overall runner-up
typically delivers some of his best results when the chips are
down.

“I felt really comfortable today, and we did a lot of nice
preparation on the track, which was good. And it worked,”
said Goulian, who could capture his career-first home win
with a successful result in the race on Sunday. “We know
what we have to do, and the whole idea is to try to keep
stealing tenths of seconds. That’s where we’re at – we know
what the line is, now we have to see how aggressive we can
be.”

The other home pilot at the first North American race of the
season,
Kirby Chambliss, incurred penalties in both Free
Practice sessions and will be looking for the form that has
brought him two podiums this season when Qualifying kicks
off on Saturday.
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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AIR RACE NEWS
Friday October 5th                                 DAY 1                                     Practice
Saturday October 6th                                 DAY 2                                     Qualifying
Challenger Class contender Patrick Davidson made motor
sport history by becoming the first Red Bull Air Race pilot
from South Africa to capture pole position at Indianapolis
Motor Speedway. In second place, two-time Challenger Cup
winner
Florian Bergér of Germany was only .059s behind
Davidson, while Italy’s
Dario Costa clocked the third-best
time.

Sunny skies greeted the Challenger Class pilots, but the wind-
whipped flags atop the speedway’s famed pagoda tower
signaled that cross-winds awaited the field of seven
international pilots. Flying second, the experienced German
Bergér delivered a stellar 1:10.945, but in the very next run,
Davidson was neck-and-neck throughout the splits until he
stopped the clock at 1:10.886 to give him his second
Qualifying win in a row. Costa, the first Red Bull Air Race
pilot to represent Italy, was just off the pace at 1:11.459, and
home favorite
Kevin Coleman of Louisiana was down the
field after wresting with penalties.  

“Where I come from is nicknamed the windy city, so I am
pretty used to wind, however when the pylons are dancing
around a little, it does make it a bit more daunting. But it
was good fun, I really enjoyed it,“ said Davidson, who hails
from Port Elizabeth. “It’s a complete honor to be here. To
go the museum and see the names of the people that have
raced at Indy – for me even to be here is a massive, massive
achievement.” He concluded cautiously, “To have a good,
clean run in Quali is great, but the race is tomorrow and that’s
where it counts.”

Also competing in the Challenger Class lineup at Indianapolis
are
Kenny Chiang of Hong Kong, Baptiste Vignes of France
and
Daniel Genevey of Hungary. Altogether, 10 outstanding
pilots from nine countries are in contention for the 2018
Challenger Cup, and Sunday‘s race at Indianapolis is the last
chance to earn points toward a berth in November’s season
finale at Texas Motor Speedway.
Results Challenger Class Qualifying, Indianapolis 2018:  

1. Patrick Davidson (RSA) 1:10.886,  
2. Florian Bergér (GER) 1:10.945,
3. Dario Costa (ITA) 1:11.459,
4. Kenny Chiang (HKG) 1:11.570,
5. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 1:12.482,
6. Daniel Genevey (HUN) 1:13.810,
7. Kevin Coleman (USA) 1:17.896  
Results Master Class Free Practice 2, Indianapolis 2018:

1. Michael Goulian (USA) 1:04.241,
2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 1:04.517,
3. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 1:04.757,
4. Martin Šonka (CZE) 1:05.082,
5. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 1:05.124,
6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 1:05.133,
7. Mika Brageot (FRA) 1:05.202,
8. François Le Vot (FRA) 1:05.920,
9. Matt Hall (AUS) 1:06.082,
10. Ben Murphy (GBR) 1:06.129,
11. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 1:06.462,
12. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1:08.745,
13. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 1:09.139,
14. Juan Velarde (ESP) 1:10.493  
Results Master Class Free Practice 1, Indianapolis 2018:  

1. Michael Goulian (USA) 1:04.123,
2. Martin Šonka (CZE) 1:04.704,
3. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 1:04.892,
4. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 1:04.933,
5. Juan Velarde (ESP) 1:05.287,
6. François Le Vot (FRA) 1:05.324,
7. Matt Hall (AUS)  1:06.496,
8. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 1:06.903,
9. Pete McLeod (CAN) 1:07.162,
10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1:07.695,
11. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 1:07.718,
12. Mika Brageot (FRA) 1:08.003,
13. Ben Murphy (GBR) 1:08.738,
14. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 1:11.543
Winning a nailbiter at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday,
Challenger Class pilot
Florian Bergér of Germany snatched
victory from US favorite
Kevin Coleman in the penultimate stop
of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race season. With second place,
Coleman took his first career podium at the historic “Brickyard,”
while
Patrick Davidson of South Africa did the same in third.
Indianapolis, USA – Every pilot was pushing to the maximum at
Indianapolis –  the last chance for the Challenger Class to clinch a
berth in November’s season finale – and the top three finished
within a tiny 0.298s. Looking for his first win in home skies,
Coleman appeared unbeatable as he blazed to a Challenger Class
track record of 1:09.660. Bergér, who has won the past two
overall Challenger Cup titles, knew he had to perform if he was
going to have any chance for an overall hat-trick, and perform he
did, clocking 1:09.397 to deny Coleman’s dream.  

“I cannot believe it! It’s so much fun to win here, and to fly here,
but it was very close,” said Bergér, who had not raced since the
June stop in Budapest. “Because I had such a big break, I wanted
to take it step by step here – try my best, be safe… and in the
end win. I am very happy to be in the Finals in Texas, but I won’
t calculate the points, I will just do my best and we will see the
outcome. Especially because we changed to an Edge 540
raceplane this season, it would be an amazing feeling to win a
championship in this plane as well.”

Rounding out the Challenger Class field in front of the weekend’s
40,500 cheering spectators were
Baptiste Vignes of France and
Daniel Genevey of Hungary. Kenny Chiang of Hong Kong,
who won back-to-back races at the September double header in
Austria, was scheduled to race at Indianapolis but could not
participate due to illness.
Sunday October 7th                                 DAY 3                                     Race Day
Results Challenger Cup Indianapolis 2018:

1. Florian Bergér (GER) 1:09.397,
2. Kevin Coleman (USA) 1:09.660,
3. Patrick Davidson (RSA) 1:09.695,
4. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 1:11.368,  
5. Dario Costa (ITA) 1:11.574,
6. Daniel Genevey (HUN) 1:12.349,
7. Kenny Chiang (HKG) DNS
Michael Goulian was fighting back tears on Sunday as he
became the first Red Bull Air Race pilot from the USA to
write his name in the list of motorsport winners at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In second place, Canada’s
Pete McLeod claimed his first podium of 2018, while
Nicolas Ivanoff of France also ended a podium drought in
third. Now, the World Championship all comes down to
November’s season finale in Fort Worth, Texas.

Goulian’s victory in front of over 40,000 home fans over the
weekend was hard fought, especially when he barely made it
out of Sunday’s opening round as the fastest loser. Mean
while, his two remaining rivals for the World Championship,
Czech pilot
Martin Šonka and Australia’s Matt Hall,
stumbled, as American
Kirby Chambliss outflew Šonka in
the Round of 14, and Hall hit a pylon in the Round of 8. In
the Final 4, Goulian was rock solid, delivering a time of
1:06.208. Canada’s McLeod, a dangerous threat as the third-
place finisher in Indianapolis in 2016, took it down to the
wire, but lost time in the racetrack to finish over a half-
second behind the jubilant American.

“It’s a big day. Right now, the season doesn't even mean
anything, because to win at Indy is amazing,” said Goulian,
his emotion evident as he realized that he would be able to
kiss the famous Indy bricks like the Indianapolis 500 heroes
of his childhood. “Sometimes the day just works out for you,
and today it did. It feels great to win here. The last race in
Wiener Neustadt [where he finished 12th] was just an outlier,
like this race for Matt and Martin. Everybody wanted a fight
to the finish for the World Championship, and that’s what
they’re going to get.”  

After sliding to third place overall, Goulian’s Indianapolis
result propelled him back to the top of the standings at 70
points, while Šonka is now second at 65 and Hall holds 63.
With only seven total points separating the trio, only one thing
is sure – the season finale in Fort Worth, Texas this
November will crown a first-time Red Bull Air Race World
Champion.
Results Master Class, Indianapolis 2018:  

1. Michael Goulian (USA),
2. Pete McLeod (CAN),
3. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA),
4. Ben Murphy (GBR),
5. Cristian Bolton (CHI),
6. Matt Hall (AUS),
7. Juan Velarde (ESP),
8. Kirby Chambliss (USA),
9. Mika Brageot (FRA),
10. Martin Šonka (CZE),
11. Matthias Dolderer (GER),
12. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN),
13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE),
14. François Le Vot (FRA)
Kevin Coleman, Florian Berger and Patrick Davidson
Michael Goulian