Jun 15


Kirby Chambliss (USA)

Photo by Mihai Stetcu


The Red Bull Air Race has stopped in Russia only twice before, but each year the team secured a podium finish with a win in 2017 and third place last year. The team hopes to add to that success as the race soars over Kazan, the country’s sporting, capital this weekend.

Although the track layout is identical to last year, the number of gates a pilot flies through has increased. Pilots will now complete an additional vertical turn maneuver (VTM) just before the finish gate. While it may seem like a small add-on, a race can be won or lost in a VTM.

Practice sessions leading up to qualifying saw a large spread in times, but Yoshi Muroya secured the top of the leaderboard in all three sessions with his fastest run at 1:02.351. This track record was broken in the qualifying sessions, replaced by France’s Mika Brageot, with a time of 1:01.431. Kirby’s fastest qualifying run of 1:04.625 resulted in a 12th place finish.

“Our practice times were not where we wanted them to be, even with Kirby flying the lines we briefed,” shares Paulo Iscold, team tactician. He goes on to explain, “we noticed a problem in engine performance prior to the qualifying session. I think this is our biggest issue moving into race day if we can’t resolve it this evening.”

Kirby adds, “It’s very frustrating to fly the line exactly as planned and still lose time in every sector. I flew clean both runs, and it still resulted in twelfth place today. I know my team is going to do everything they can to determine and resolve our engine problems before tomorrow. Hopefully we will see an improvement in performance and overall results.”


Head-to-head pairings for tomorrow’s Round of 14 are as follows:

  • Heat 1: Nicolas Ivanoff vs. Petr Kopfstein
  • Heat 2: Ben Murphy vs. Yoshihide Muroya
  • Heat 3: Matt Hall vs. Michael Goulian
  • Heat 4: Kirby Chambliss vs. Francois Le Vot
  • Heat 5: Pete McLeod vs. Christian Bolton
  • Heat 6: Juan Velarde vs. Martin Sonka
  • Heat 7: Matthias Dolderer vs. Mika Brageot


Kazan Qualifying Results:

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


For more information, visit www.redbullairrace.com.




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