Feb 03


Many believe a season’s pace is set at the first race of the year. For Team Chambliss, it’s no different.

“A good finish at race one is crucial for the team’s momentum. Last year, we incurred an over-G penalty [in Abu Dhabi] which resulted in no points. It took us a few races to get back on track, so making it to the final four is our goal,” stated Chambliss prior to the race’s start.

After a fifth-place finish in yesterday’s qualifying round, Kirby faced Francois Le Vot in the Round of 14. It was a nail-biting finish for the remainder of the team as they stood by and watched sector times transition between red, green, and back to red. But the time was on Kirby’s side with a final green light, propelling him to the Round of 8 by just 0.064 seconds.

During the Round of 8, Mika Brageot incurred a two-second penalty for an incorrect level in gate seven. A clean run from Kirby put him over two and a half seconds ahead of his rival and on to the Final Four. It was there he missed the podium by one-tenth of a second and finished fourth behind Martin Sonka.

“Overall, I’m happy with my flying. I think I could have taken a little more risk and that might have bumped me up a position or two, but fourth place isn’t the worst spot. It’s the first race of the season; the championship is a ways out. We are happy to take the points and look forward to keeping up the positive momentum at the next stop,” remarked Chambliss.

Fellow American, Michael Goulian, topped the podium at 53.695 seconds, followed by reigning world champion, Yoshihide Muroya, in second and Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic in third. A full list of results can be found below.


**Update: Due to a technical infringement of the rules following a post-race inspection, Martin Sonka received a disqualification from the Final Four. As a disqualification may only be added to one flying session, Sonka records a fourth place finish shifting Kirby and Team Chambliss into third. The team will start the year with 9 points towards the overall world championship standings.


Abu Dhabi Race Results & Current World Championship Standings:

  • 1. Michael Goulian (USA) 15
  • 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 12
  • 3. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 9
  • 4. Martin Sonka (CZE) 7**
  • 5. Matt Hall (AUS) 6
  • 6. Ben Murphy (GBR) 5
  • 7. Francois Le Vot (FRA) 4
  • 8. Mika Brageot (FRA) 3
  • 9. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 2
  • 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1
  • 11. Juan Velarde (ESP) 0
  • 12. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 0
  • 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 0
  • 14. Pete McLeod (CAN) 0



Comments are closed.