Aug 26


Martin Sonka (CZE) (C), Michael Goulian (USA) (L), Kirby Chambliss (USA) (R)

American pilot Kirby Chambliss finds himself back on the podium for the first time this season with a third place finish in Kazan, Russia. After a bumpy qualifying round, the result is exactly what Team Chambliss needed to turn their momentum around for the second half of 2018.

2017 saw Kirby Chambliss on top of the podium at Kazan’s debut. Back in Russia for the 2018 season, Chambliss finds himself on the podium for the first time this year. After struggling the past three races, a third place finish is undoubtedly a relief to the team.

“I am stoked to be back in Russia and even more so to find myself on the podium again! Our team has struggled this season, so I feel like we’re finally headed back in the right direction,” states Chambliss.

The race week started quite well for Team Chambliss. The early practice sessions allowed them time to adjust flight lines and mechanical features on the aircraft. During the final practice session on Saturday, Chambliss saw his time improve again and again, but disappointment hit during the qualifying round when his fastest run resulted in eighth place. Tactician, Paulo Iscold, stated, “There was a big change in both the wind direction and intensity which had a significant impact on our time, even though we flew the same line as in the practice sessions with engine setups the same.” Nearly 1.7s slower than in practice, Chambliss’ performance set him head-to-head with Canadian Pete McLeod in the Round of 14.

A smooth, clean run propelled him on to the Round of 8 against Yoshi Muroya. Although Chambliss lost the heat according to the timesheets, Team Muroya was disqualified for an over-RPM penalty. Paulo’s only notes for Chambliss heading into the Final Four were “to start as close to the 200kt start speed as possible and slightly adjust the entrance heading.”

Chambliss’ time of 52.304s secured a third place finish, with fellow American Michael Goulian in second and Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic in first.

“We need to carry this positive momentum through to the last three races and try to forget the struggles of the first half of the year. The airplane is performing well and I am feeling great!” exclaims Chambliss.

With just a short break, the series is set to return September 15 and 16 in Weiner Neustadt, Austria, a location the series has yet to see.


Kazan 2018 Race Results:

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

2018 World Championship Standings to Date:

1. Michael Goulian (USA) 55, 2. Martin Sonka (CZE) 49, 3. Matt Hall (AUS) 49, 4. Mika Brageot (FRA) 27, 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 22, 6. Francois Le Vot (FRA) 20, 7. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 19, 8. Juan Velarde (ESP) 16, 9. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 15, 10. Ben Murphy (GBR) 15, 11. Pete McLeod (CAN) 11, 12. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 8, 13. Christian Bolton (CHI) 6, 14. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 6


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