Great Day for Czech Pilots at Red Bull Air Race Chiba
The pilots are also near the top of standings to win for the season
by Raymond Johnston / Foto: Red Bull Contentpool
Two Czech pilots were on the winner’s podium after the June 3–4 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba City, Japan.
Japanese pilot Yoshihide Muroya took the gold, but Czech pilots Petr Kopfstein and Martin Šonka earned silver and bronze.
“It would have been unreal a couple of years ago to think a that two Red Bull Air Race winners would be Czechs. … It was an amazing race. The fans here were incredible again, a total of 90,000 over the weekend, which is a huge number. Perhaps this result will help some Red Bull Air Race fans to join from the Czech Republic,” Martin Šonka said after the race.
Yoshihide Muroya flew perfect lines in the race’s final four and crossed the finish gate in 55.288 seconds, one of his quickest times of the racing week. Petr Kopfstein crossed the finish line just 0.558 seconds behind Muroya to claim second place. It was the first podium of his Master Class career.
Šonka had a penalty at Gate 4 for an incorrect level flying, which added two seconds to his time. If it wasn’t for this error, he would have won. His time after the penalty was 56:533. Matthias Dolderer clipped a pylon at one of the final gates, and as a result dropped to fourth place.
Šonka said he was disappointed that the error cost him and his team the victory after all of their preparation, but he was satisfied with the third place finish and happy that he was remaining competitive to win the overall season.
As far as the standings for the racing season go, Muroya and Šonka both have 30 points and are at the top of the standings after three races. Dolderer is in third with 23 points and Kopfstein’s second place finish in Japan pushed him to fourth in the World Championship standings with 17 points.
The next Red Bull air race takes place in Budapest on July 1 and 2.
Sonka soars to victory in opening Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi – 11.02.2017
Red Bull Air Race season takes off soon – 19.01.2017