Feb 07



Photo by Joerg Mitter


Just last year, Kirby captured one of his three season podiums in the Emirates, and with the racetrack at the Corniche unchanged, he hopes to leverage his learnings to step up even higher this time.

Returning to join in the effort are team tactician Paulo Iscold and team coordinator Kayla Layton. But there will be a new face in the hangar as well, because for the first time in 15 years we have a new Race Technician, Peter Conway of California, who has a strong background in working with both military and experimental aircraft.

“I think Peter is going to be a great fit, and he’s got the right experience. He was tactician for the raceplane that won the World Championship in 2017,” says Kirby. “Beyond his skillset, he’s full of ideas, and like the rest of us he’s highly competitive. Pete also has an extremely positive attitude.”

Personal sponsors are another key component in the team’s success: Piper Aircraft, Inc. is returning for a second season in 2019, as is Dita Eyewear, and Skydive Arizona is back for a fourth campaign. Kirby comments, “Like in any motorsport, partners and sponsors are important to me as an Air Racing pilot, and I think I’ve got some of the best. The relationships we’ve built are strong and they share my drive to excel. It’s great to be working with Piper, Dita and Skydive Arizona again this season.”

Qualifying takes off in Abu Dhabi tomorrow with a rule revision awarding World Championship points to the top three Quali finishers. Then Race Day is Saturday the 9th, and the calendar that opens in the desert city will continue across nine months to conclude in another desert locale, the sport’s first-ever stop in Saudi Arabia.

“We’re just getting started, and we’ll be taking things one race at a time, as usual,” Kirby states. “I’m really looking forward to meeting our fans, getting back in the track and seeing what we can do this year in Abu Dhabi.”



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