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BONHOMME WINS ROUND 7 OF RED BULL AIR RACE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT TMS
FORT WORTH, Texas (September 27, 2015) – Great Britain’s Paul Bonhomme won Round 7 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship on Sunday to extend his championship lead before an estimated crowd of more than 20,000 at Texas Motor Speedway.
>Bonhomme arrived at Texas with a five-point lead over Australia’s Matt Hall and was able to pad the advantage to eight, 67-59, with his fourth Master Class win of the season and 19th of his career. Bohomme and Hall both advanced to the Final 4 segment through the elimination-style format for the 14-pilot field, setting the stage for the showdown among the two championship contenders.
Bonhomme recorded a lap of 55.285 seconds on the challenging layout above the speedway infield to edge Hall (56.052) by 0.767 of a second for the victory in the four-pilot finale based on time. Japan’s Yoshihide Muroya finished third (59.413) and Czechoslovakia’s Martin Sonka was fourth (1:02.900).
The championship will be decided in the season finale Oct. 17-18 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a Speedway Motorsports, Inc. sister track to Texas Motor Speedway. Bonhomme is pursuing his third world championship – he won back-to-back titles in 2009 and ’10 – while Hall is seeking his first crown.
“I’ve been asked about winning the championship and I’m not even thinking about it,” Bonhomme said. “There’s absolutely no point in me worrying about the world championship because up until that Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas we are not going to know.”
In the Challenger Class, France’s Mikael Brageot won at Texas Motor Speedway for the second consecutive year and the victory moved him back in the thick of the championship race. Brageot posted a lap of 1 minute, 7.614 seconds to nip Slovenia’s Peter Podlunsek (1:07.822) by .208 of a second among the six-pilot field. Germany’s Florian Berger took the final podium position, finishing third.
It was Brageot’s second consecutive win on the season – the other came Sept. 6 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria – and the victory allowed him to move into a three-way tie for the Challenger Cup championship with Czechoslovakia’s Petr Kopfstein and Sweden’s Daniel Ryfa.
“I’m really comfortable in these races over land where you have marks on the ground and other reference points to target in lining up for the Air Gates, although it’s far from easy because there are obstacles that you don’t have when flying over water,” said Brageot, whose three career wins have all come at motorsport venues. “I’m feeling really great heading toward Las Vegas, but it'll be a clean slate and the winner there will be the champion. The most important thing now is not to get over-confident just because I’ve won two races in row.”
The second Red Bull Air Race World Championship event at Texas Motor Speedway attracted more than 30,000 spectators over the course of the two-day competition.
Round 7 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will be re-aired on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Oct. 11, beginning at 9 a.m. CT.
Red Bull Air Race World Championship
Round 7 at Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday’s Final Results
Round of 14: Heat 1 – Martin Sonka, Czechoslovakia, 55.846 seconds, def. Kirby Chambliss, USA, 57.952; Heat 2 – Nigel Lamb, Great Britain, 54.620, def. Matt Hall, Australia, 54.800; Heat 3 – Paul Bonhomme, Great Britain, 56.039, def. Hannes Arch, Austria, 57.623; Heat 4 – Pete McLeod, Canada, 56.476, def. Michael Goulian, USA, 57.307; Heat 5 – Nicolas Ivanoff, France, 59.948, def. Juan Velarde, Spain, 1:00.443; Heat 6 – Yoshihide Muroya, Japan, 59.121, def. Peter Besenyei, Hungary, 1:00.308; Heat 7 – Matthias Dolderer, Germany, 57.840, def. Francois Le Vot, France, 1:02.940. Seven winners advance and fastest loser (Hall).
Round of 8: Heat 1 – Sonka (CZE), 58.046, def. Lamb (GBR), 1:00.003; Heat 2 – Bonhomme (GBR), 56.452, def. McLeod (CAN), DNF (Did Not Finish); Heat 3 – Muroya (JPN), 57.477, def. Ivanoff (FRA), 1:00.334; Heat 4 – Hall (AUS), 56.290, def. Dolderer (GER), 56.650.
Final 4: 1. Bonhomme (GBR), 55.285; 2. Hall (AUS), 56.052; 3. Muroya (JPN), 59.413; 4. Sonka (CZE), 1:02.900.
Championship Results: 1. Mikael Brageot, France, 1 minute, 7.614 seconds; 2. Peter Podlunsek, Slovenia, 1:07.822; 3. Florian Berger, Germany, 1:10.272; 4. Cristian Bolton, Chile, 1:10.422; 5. Francis Barros, Brazil, 1:16.143; 6. Petr Kopfstein, Czechoslovakia, SCO (Safety Climb Out).