Quotes: Red Bull Air Race season opener Abu Dhabi 2018

Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service

Michael Goulian of the United States and Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic attend on a press conference 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

MICHAEL GOULIAN, USA
Master Class pilot, winner Abu Dhabi 2018, current overall leader
“It was awesome, and my whole team is over the moon. It’s been a long time coming to get [my] 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 making 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 to make the Final 4, get the points and be in the hunt for the World Championship.”

Yoshihide Muroya of Japan prepares for his flight during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

YOSHIHIDE “YOSHI” MUROYA, JAPAN
Master Class pilot, defending Red Bull Air Race World Champion
“This is a great result, and it is the very first time I’ve ever gotten a second-place race trophy to add to my collection! 2017 has finished and we have left all the trophies and wins back there. It doesn’t matter that I got the World Championship title last year, this is a new season, and we want to do it again. While the World Championship is perhaps even tighter than last year, the pressure is something I use to lift my motivation. I think we have had a very stable start and with raceplane modifications we’ll just get better and better.”

Kirby Chambliss of the United States at the race airport at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

KIRBY CHAMBLISS, USA
Master Class pilot
“[Fourth place] is not really where I wanted to be. You know, we’re in the Final 4 and I felt like we had a shot at it and maybe I played it too safe; maybe we should’ve gone all out, and next time I’ll try that. I could’ve taken a bit more of a risk as I finished fourth anyway, so it wouldn’t have made a difference if I’d not flown clean trying to go faster.”

Matt Hall of Australia poses for a photograph during the first stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on January 30, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

MATT HALL, AUSTRALIA
Master Class pilot
“For me I flew a good time, but Mike [Goulian] has been faster than me all week. It’s not a bad start. Once again we’ve got a whole new setup, and for a first race with a new setup it’s not a bad result. Moreover some of the really fast guys in this series finished behind us today, so I feel like this title race will be wide open. There are still another seven stops to go.”

Ben Murphy of Great Britain prepares for his flight at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 1, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

BEN MURPHY, GREAT BRITAIN
New Master Class pilot
“We’ve had a fantastic start and we’re really happy. We couldn’t have hoped for it to go any better. The airplane has been brilliant, and I think having a great team behind me takes all the pressure off the pilot. We’re learning how to get quicker and we’ll keep measured progress, but we need not to run away with ourselves. It’s a yearlong campaign, and there are many more races to come.”

Francois Le Vot of France prepares for his flight during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

FRANÇOIS LE VOT, FRANCE
Master Class pilot
“I’ve always liked being here, it’s a little bit of summer in winter and I do like summer! The track layout is nice and so is the environment. “My new technician Tobias Odewald is very experienced and we’re all getting along well in the team. My plan for the season is to push a little bit harder and approach the limits while keeping in mind that a penalty will impede going any further. But I think I have to collect some penalties so I can find the limits. I can feel my confidence returning.”

Mikael Brageot of France poses for a photograph at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 1, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

MIKA BRAGEOT, FRANCE
Master Class pilot
“The week has been amazing and we have a raceplane ready for the season. I feel a lot of difference with the raceplane because we worked on the aerodynamics from the spinner to the tail. We’ve changed many parts like cowling, air intakes, filled all the gaps that were creating drag, rebalanced the aircraft to get more efficiency in the turns, and we reduced the weight as well. So of course we can feel the difference first in the handling, but also in engine performance and cooling. It’s nice to jump in again and see that we have done some improvements.”

Petr Kopfstein of the Czech Republic 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:
Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

PETR KOPFSTEIN, CZECH REPubLic
Master Class pilot
“Today we just didn’t like the line we had selected, and also the plane wasn’t set up properly and the mixture setting was too lean. But we didn’t want to make a mistake as the track is really fast and I was concerned about the Gs. We’ve been fighting with the mixture setting all week and we just haven’t found it. But lesson learned, and we will now focus on the rest of the season.”

Nicolas Ivanoff of France prepares for his flight during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

NICOLAS IVANOFF, FRANCE
Master Class pilot
Fortunately I was able to use a [backup] plane and actually race, so I need to thank the organization for letting me fly. The [backup] Edge used in the Challenger Class is a stock plane, and it’s obviously not set up for me. Maybe it was four seconds slower than my usual plane. My goal was to not be more than two seconds slower than Mike [Goulian], and I wasn’t. I was slow, but it’s not too bad and congratulations to Mike.”

Juan Velarde of Spain prepares for his flight during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

JUAN VELARDE, SPAIN
Master Class pilot
“Ben [Murphy] flew faster than me – I’m happy for him in his first race in the Master Class, and I have to congratulate him on a good job. This is a very fast and powerful track. We have long, straight lines, and the plane keeps accelerating and it’s simple to over-G. I don’t know how many there have been, but it’s a lot.”

Cristian Bolton of Chile prepares for his flight during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

CRISTIAN BOLTON, CHILE
Master Class pilot
“I hit a pylon. It’s a bad result; it’s my mistake and not how we should start the season. This is why Air Racing is so tough – a small mistake can change the result right away. Let’s see what Cannes will bring for me and my team.”

Matthias Dolderer of Germany in his hangar 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:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

MATTHIAS DOLDERER, GERMANY
Master Class pilot
“I was feeling comfortable, but if you want to go for the best time this [a penalty] happens. It’s super frustrating after a good Qualifying, but the positive thing is we know the plane is fast and I’m fast. We’ve lost 15 points, so we need to be on the podium at every race if we’re going to become World Champions. The only thing to do is look toward the next race. Let’s go in Cannes.”

Pete McLeod of Canada poses for a photograph during the first stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on January 29, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

PETE McLEOD, CANADA
Master Class pilot
“It’s always great to be back in Abu Dhabi because it means we’re back racing and it’s the start of the season, but I don’t have much to say about today. I thought I was well prepared and I wanted to go out there and fly fast. In the end no points. I’m not happy, and that’s natural. We invest a lot in terms of energy, time, training and emotion, and when you get a result like this [Did Not Finish for exceeding maximum G], it isn’t racing. Next time!”

Race director Jim DiMatteo of the United States works at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 1, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

JIM DIMATTEO
Race Director, Red Bull Air Race
“We’re very excited to kick off the 2018 season. We ended up last year with a fantastic season and a fantastic finale, and the pilots all went into the “winter” making a lot of modifications to become even more competitive heading into Abu Dhabi, our first race of the season. There’s just not a better-designed place on the planet for the Red Bull Air Race than the Corniche and this bay. The weather was fantastic this week, and every year we come back there’s a new, gorgeous building that highlights our backdrop in this iconic race. We love coming here.”

Challenger pilot Florian Berger of Germany prepares for his flight prior to the Challanger 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:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

FLORIAN BERGÉR, GERMANY
Challenger Class pilot, winner of the 2018 Challenger Class race in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull Air Race Challenger Cup Champion for 2016 and 2017
It’s amazing. I’m really happy that I won the race here. In the years before I was second or third, so it’s quite a big thing for me. I feel comfortable in the new [Edge 540 V2] plane, and my goal for the season is to fly consistent and to be on the podium as often as I can. Perhaps it will be possible to have another overall win of the Challenger Cup, but it will be quite tough.”

Challenger pilot Luke Czepiela of Poland prepares for his flight during the Challanger 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:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

LUKE CZEPIELA, POLAND
Challenger Class pilot
“I love the new plane. With the Extra [the former Challenger Class raceplane] we were 10 seconds behind the Master Class – now we are three or four seconds behind, so the aircraft has a lot more energy. Am I happy with my result? Yes and no. I have a long history of bad results in Abu Dhabi. The two races I’ve flown here in the past, I’ve had pylon hits, so I flew conservatively. It did pay off in the end – second place – I’m happy with that. But I’m not happy with the time, 1.5 seconds slower than Florian [Bergér] is too much. So I will push harder at the next race.”

Challenger pilot Kevin Coleman of the United States at the race airport during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

KEVIN COLEMAN, UNITED STATES
Challenger Class pilot
“I’m pretty happy. It’s funny: I knew I couldn’t be as fast as Danny [Ryfa] and Flo [Bergér], so I just flew conservatively and didn’t risk anything. I wanted to get as many points as possible and have them in the bag before working out what we can do in the next race.”

Dario Costa of Italy seen in the hangar during the first stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on January 28, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

DARIO COSTA, ITALY
New Challenger Class pilot for 2018
“I’m just trying to learn the plane, the tactics, the lines and trying to absorb as much as possible. I managed to keep it clean and penalty free as I was aiming [to do] – nothing more was in my target for this race. When I’m in the track, I’m the happiest man on Earth.”

Challenger pilot Daniel Ryfa of Sweden prepares for his flight during the Challanger 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:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

DANIEL RYFA, SWEDEN
Challenger Class pilot“It’s good to be back here. I’m really enjoying the new raceplane we have – ­it’s a very splendid aircraft, very speedy, much better than the last one. And you pull a lot of Gs, which is a new thing for us in the Challenger Class. In the last turn I hit the pylon, unfortunately. I’m really upset with myself. I was pushing so hard, and I didn’t know I was going to hit the pylon, but I felt it when I did. Overall I’m happy with my flying; I pushed a lot and my net time was going to be the quickest in Challenger Class history for Abu Dhabi. It’s now time to focus on [the next race in] Cannes. I will continue to push hard. You have to be competitive. The margins are so small that you have to push, which adds pressure, but I’ll be ready for the rest of the season.” 

Challenger pilot Patrick Davidson of South Africa prepares for his flight prior to the Challanger 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:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

PATRICK DAVIDSON, SOUTH AFRICA
New Challenger Class pilot
“It was an interesting experience and there was a lot of information to take in. This morning I was nervous, but the run was my best net time so far, though I picked up a penalty. I’m looking forward to the season and going to new venues with the new raceplane. It’s a good learning ground and a great way to work toward the Master Class.”

Challenger pilot Daniel Genevey of Hungary prepares for his flight airport during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 2, 2018. –
Photographer Credit:
Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

DANIEL GENEVEY, HUNGARY
Challenger Class pilot
“I wanted to correct the line I took in Qualifying and I over-G’d, which cost me. It’s disappointing because I was in the race, but that’s how it is, and I’m very happy because I had been flying cleanly and fast. I feel comfortable in the new raceplane already.”




 

 

 

Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar
2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
21-22 April: Cannes, France
26-27 May: Europe, location TBA
23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary
4-5 August: Asia, location TBA
25-26 August: Kazan, Russia
6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA
November: Asia, location TBA

 

About Red Bull Air Race
Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the globe. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

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

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