Hello and welcome to the 2015 Red Bull Air Race World Championship LIVE from Abu Dhabi!
We pick up here in the UAE capital on Thursday with training for both the Challenger Cup and Master Class pilots and will be bringing you as close to the action as we can throughout the next three days! With a revamped race format, two new Master Class pilots and more testosterone than you can imagine, it's set to be a wild start to the season...
Before every race, the pilots take a tour of the location by air – checking out the conditions and getting an overview of the area before race week starts. This time, we had a newcomer in the pack – Francois Le Vot flew alongside Kirby Chambliss and Pete McLeod along the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
Getting a headstart yesterday, we had initial training sessions and saw strong runs from Paul Bonhomme and Hannes Arch, while defending World Champion Nigel Lamb couldn't quite find his line.
Back in the track today, we saw the familar sight of Australian Matt Hall showing great promise. Could that be attributed to his pretty spectacular new winglets?
If you missed training yesterday, we can tell you that there are no guarantees here in Abu Dhabi! Matt Hall is sporting some supercharged new winglets – you won't miss them! Seems he's got to grips with them pretty sharpish and gave both Bonhomme and Arch a real run for their money.
Here's a quick roundup of what's coming up today...
MASTERS Training at 13:50
CHALLENGERS Qualifying at 14:30MASTERS Qualifying 16:00Local time is UTC + 04:00
Will we see history repeating today with Bonhomme making a break for the top step of the podium at the season opener? Or will it be a completely new chapter for our pilots?
- Matt Hall after Training Day
"It was a good way to end the day. I'm still only at 99% with the aircraft. It doesn't fit like a glove yet, so I'm not pushing it all the way – and maybe that's why I'm getting the good results because I'm not stressed. The winglets are making a difference though."
"I enjoyed today, and when I enjoy my flying, I fly well. I'm flying consistently fast. I get worried when other people are posting fast times, but they aren't being as consistent."
We're all set for the final Training run ahead of Qualifying... first out on the track will be Nigel Lamb!
And it's a DNF for Lamb for exceeding maximum G! Not how he would have wanted to kick off today's action!
We're waiting for Hannes Arch to enter the track. Conditions are good - wind around 3-6 knots and temperature currently 29.4C at the Corniche
A penalty for incorrect level flying at Gate 3 AND Gate 10 plus a pylon hit has added 6 seconds to Arch's time. That will upset the Austrian pilot who's had a pretty flawless run in Training so far!
Arch - 01:03.174
Paul Bonhomme perhaps flying too close to the edge – a penalty for incorrect level flying at Gate 3 earns him an extra 2s.
Bonhomme - 00:59.232
What's going on out there?! Ivanoff picks up three penalties to post 01:04.052