Goulian makes historic comeback with a victory in UAE

Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race

Michael Goulian of the United States celebrates with Matt Hall of Australia after the finals at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 3, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

9 years since his last victory, USA’s Mike Goulian nabs Red Bull Air Race win.

Abu Dhabi’s sparkling blue waters and golden sands was once again the backdrop for 50,000 spectators at the Red Bull Air Race 2018 season opener.

USA’s Mike Goulian set the tone for the race day Final 4, after a blistering pace was made as the first off the mark, with a time of 53.695s. The American’s had an agonising wait to determine if his pace could hold off the race favourites.

Goulian, 49, edged out Japan’s defending World Champion Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya and Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic to take the win, which marks his time in his career on top of the leader board.

While in the in the Challenger Class, German Florian Bergér triumphed over Poland’s Luke Czepiela and Kevin Coleman of the United States, to take the top spot.




Here is all the information you need to know:

-Goulian said: “It’s been a long time coming to get that second win, but it feels great. I was very fast all week and very consistent. I was excited for Qualifying, excited for the race, but I knew I couldn’t get too excited. So, we worked on just putting one foot in front of the other and make small improvements. I had a feeling we would do well today, but I didn’t want to put the cart in front of the horse. We want to be consistent now and we want to win races, but our aim is make the Final 4, get the points and be in the challenge for the World Championship.”

-In 2017, Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi, Goulian received the DHL fastest lap award with a time of 25.672 seconds.

-In 2006, Goulian joined Red Bull Air Race facing tough competition. It wasn’t until 2009 in Budapest, Hungary that he claimed his first victory.

Michael Goulian of the United States performs during the finals at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 3, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Naim Chidiac/Red Bull Content Pool

-Mike Goulian, a Massachusetts native has jet fuel in his blood. His family owned one of the biggest flying schools in the Northeast, he soloed his first flight on his 16th Birthday before plunging into aerobatics when he was 17 years old.

– 2017 World Champion Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya said: “It’s been a long time coming to get that second win, but it feels great. I was very fast all week and very consistent. I was excited for Qualifying, excited for the race, but I knew I couldn’t get too excited. So we worked on just putting one foot in front of the other and make small improvements. I had a feeling we would do well today, but I didn’t want to put the cart in front of the horse. We want to be consistent now and we want to win races, but our aim is make the Final 4, get the points and be in the challenge for the World Championship.”

Challenger pilot Florian Berger of Germany performs during training day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 1, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Andreas Langreiter / Red Bull Content Pool

Florian Bergér‘s friend and closest rival, Daniel Ryfa of Sweden, narrowly missed the victory, despite behind half a second ahead of Bergér, after clipping a pylon resulting in a three second penalty knocking him off the podium and into fifth place.

-The Red Bull Air Race Challenger Cup was introduced in 2014, providing a platform for the next generation of pilots to hone their skills for potential advancement into the Master Class, and their chance to take the Red Bull Air Race World Championship title.

Michael Goulian of the United States (C) celebrates with Yoshihide Muroya of Japan (L) and Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic (R) during the Award Ceremony at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 3, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

Results Master Class Abu Dhabi 2018:  1. Michael Goulian (USA), 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 3. Martin Šonka (CZE), 4. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 5. Matt Hall (AUS), 6. Ben Murphy (GBR), 7. François Le Vot (FRA), 8. Mika Brageot (FRA), 9. Petr Kopfstein(CZE), 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 11. Juan Velarde (ESP), 12. Cristian Bolton (CHI), 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 14. Pete McLeod (CAN)

World Championship standings after one race: 1. Michael Goulian (USA) 15 points, 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 12 pts, 3. Martin Šonka (CZE) 9 pts, 4. Kirby Chambliss(USA) 7 pts, 5. Matt Hall (AUS) 6 pts, 6. Ben Murphy (GBR) 5 pts, 7. François Le Vot (FRA) 4 pts, 8. Mika Brageot (FRA) 3 pts, 9. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 2 pts, 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1 pt, 11. Juan Velarde (ESP) 0, 12. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 0, 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 0, 14. Pete McLeod (CAN) 0

Results Challenger Class, Abu Dhabi 2018:  1. Florian Bergér (GER) 57.073, 2. Luke Czepiela (POL) 58.533, 3. Kevin Coleman (USA) 58.996, 4. Dario Costa (ITA) 59.418, 5. Daniel Ryfa (SWE) 59.420, 6. Patrick Davidson (RSA) 1:00.544, 7. Daniel Genevey(HUN) 1:01.390,

Florian Berger of Germany (C) celebrates with Luke Czepiela of Poland (L) and Kevin Coleman of the United States (R) during the Award Ceremony for the Challenger Cup at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 3, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Andreas Langreiter / Red Bull Content Pool

 

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