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
“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
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.
|Most recent news is at bottom of page.
|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
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
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
IndyCar Tire Test
Oct 16 - Six IndyCar teams will conduct Firestone tire tests
at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow in
preparation for the 2019 Indy 500.
This is a closed test and only the media will be permitted in
at the end for interviews.
Participants in test:
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
Will Power, Team Penske
Tony Kanaan, AJ Foyt Racing
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing
Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
2019 Ed Carpenter Racing
Oct 17 - Ed Carpenter Racing and Scuderia Corsa are
joining forces to field driver Ed Jones in the 2019 Indy
Car Series season, the teams announced Wednesday.
This releases Jordan King to find a new ride. Jones
will drive the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia
Corsa Chevrolet at all 12 road- and street-course races
on the schedule, with team co-owner Ed Carpenter
continuing to drive the car in the five oval events. In
addition, the team will field a third entry, the No. 64
Chevrolet, for Jones to drive in the Indy 500.
Jones, 23, will be competing in his third IndyCar Series
season in 2019. He was named Sunoco Rookie of the
Year in 2017, when he finished 14th in the point
standings with five top-10 finishes for Dale Coyne
Racing, including a third-place effort at the Indianapolis
500. He moved to Chip Ganassi Racing in 2018, where
he scored eight top-10s and two podiums on his way to
13th place in the championship.
Spencer Pigot, 25, will again drive the No. 21 Chevrolet
at all IndyCar Series races in 2019. While Pigot was the
Indy Lights champion in 2015, Jones took the crown the
McLaren Won't Create IndyCar
Team in 2019
Oct 19 - There will be no full-time McLaren team in the
2019 IndyCar Series, McLaren CEO Zak Brown
confirmed Friday while at the US Grand Prix at COTA.
“For the IndyCar Series, we’ve taken the decision to not
compete on a full-time basis in 2019,” Brown reported.
“We’re simply not ready yet and very focused on F1.
So, we won’t be doing that in 2019.
“We do have a desire to do it, as I’ve mentioned before,
in the near future.
“As far as the Indy 500 is concerned, it’s something that
remains of interest to us. That will be a decision that
ultimately, we take in the off-season. I think it’s some-
thing that Fernando (Alonso) would like to do as well, but
right now we’re still focused on Formula 1 and until we
get a little bit of fresh air, we’ll remain focused on that.”
Alonso continued to express interest in competing in the
103rd Indianapolis 500 in 2019. That will likely now be
for Andretti Autosport.
When Brown and McLaren representatives came to the
United States to meet with members of IndyCar in May
and later in June, a full-time McLaren entry seemed like a
tremendous opportunity for both the team and the series.
But after McLaren made some disparaging remarks about
its Honda engine during the 2017 season, and later
switched to Renault for 2018, the top Honda officials in
Japan made it clear that they would not want their brand
associated with McLaren in IndyCar.
That made it increasingly difficult for Honda Perform-
ance Development and the American Honda Motor Co.
to create a program that would involve McLaren along
with full-time Honda IndyCar team Andretti Autosport.
After making several efforts to get Honda Japan to relent on
its decision, HPD officials took a step back.
Combine that with another poor season for McLaren in
2018, and Brown determined the F1 effort needs fixing
before McLaren can create another high-profile racing
program in the United States.
Haas F1 Adding a Title Sponsor
Oct 26 - Haas F1, the American Formula One team,
will change its livery next year to incorporate new title
sponsor Rich Energy - an energy drink from the UK.
Rich Energy's colors colors are black and gold.
CLICK HERE for a picture of their can.
I hope Haas gets a good paint design.
The car was so ugly in 2017, I think F1 made them
change it! Backing off on the gray was the right move.
Needing a livery change even more are the pink cars of
Force India who almost got the Rich Energy sponsor-
My first thought is how great the John Player Specials
looked. The Lotus 72 is probably my favorite one:
Hamilton Equals Fangio with 5th F1 Title
Oct 28 - Lewis Hamilton cinched his fifth F1 World
Championship today at the Mexico Grand Prix. This
made him the joint second most successful driver of all
The 33-year-old becomes only the third man in history
to win five world titles. He matches the haul of the
Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio and is two
behind all-time record holder Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton needed only to finish seventh at Sunday's
Mexican Grand Prix to become champion, even if
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had won - but the German
could manage only second place behind the dominant
Max Verstappen, despite a valiant and strong race.
It was a difficult race for the Mercedes driver, who
battled tire problems throughout, but his finishing position
just off the podium, in fourth, was more than enough to
seal the biggest achievement of an illustrious career.
At the end of the race, Hamilton pushed his car through
a series of celebratory 'doughnut' spins in the track's
stadium section, before waving to the capacity 135,000
The race was a reminder of what might have been for
Vettel, as both Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate
Valtteri Bottas fell back with excessive tire wear and
his Ferrari moved up with an aggressive strategy to
pressure the Red Bulls in the closing laps.
But it was too little too late for Vettel, whose season,
once so promising, unravelled in the summer and early
autumn with a series of errors from driver and team.
Hamilton and Mercedes were well below the high
standards they set for themselves as they won six out
of seven races from the German Grand Prix in late July
to the Japanese race in early October.
But that run - and the consistent excellence that both
pressured Vettel and Ferrari into their mistakes and
won races through the highest quality driving and team
work - had put Hamilton into a comfortable position.
And it was enough to seal the championship despite such
a relatively lacklustre race, perhaps their poorest in
terms of absolute performance of the entire season.
As Hamilton was struggling, Vettel was beginning to
think of a potential win. He made a second pit stop on
lap 47, and when Verstappen stopped again himself a lap
later, Vettel was four seconds behind Ricciardo, who
was on old tyres, and five seconds behind his team-mate.
Vettel was quickly on Ricciardo's tail, but the Australian
appeared to be capable of holding off the Ferrari to the
end, until his car failed for the eighth time this season
and he retired on lap 62, promoting Ferrari's Kimi
Raikkonen to the final podium position.
Ricciardo's retirement caused some nerves at Red Bull,
and Verstappen was on the radio pleading with the
team to turn down his engine to reduce risks of a failure
as much as possible.
But it held on for his second victory of the year in a race
that, despite Verstappen's impressive performance, was all
about the man who finished fourth.
|Mexico was Max Verstappen's 2nd win of 2018
|Lewis Hamilton Celebrates Winning 5th Title
|4-time title champ Sebastian Vettle congratulates Lewis
F1 Driver Joining IndyCar
Oct 31 - Swedish Formula One driver Marcus Ericsson is
coming to IndyCar.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced Tuesday the
28-year old will join the team for the 2019 IndyCar season
and drive the No. 7 Honda.
Ericsson will join SPM following F1's season later this
year. He's made 95 F1 starts, including a ninth-place finish
in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix. He has zero wins and
podiums in the series. He won the Formula BMW UK
series in 2007 and Japanese Formula Three in 2009.
Ericsson will still serve as Alfa Romeo Sauber's reserve
driver for F1, but his primary focus will be IndyCar. He'll
join SPM James Hinchcliffe and Jack Harvey, who will be
a part-time driver.
Note: Another Swedish driver is joining IndyCar next
season - Felix Rosenqvist will be joining Chip Ganassi