Good afternoon from Abu Dhabi! The sun is shining and it's time to get in the air and get this season started
Masters Free Practice 1 is due to start in just a few minutes. Conditions looking good:
Air Pressure: 1011.3mbar
Wind Speed/Direction: 5kts/S
Here's the order of flying for Practice 1:1. Podlunsek2. Kopfstein3. Le Vot4. Velarde5. Chambliss6. Goulian7. Ivanoff8. McLeod9. Lamb10. Muroya11. Dolderer12. Sonka13. Arch14. Hall
And Podlunsek is out on the track for FP1!
Not the start that Podlunsek will be looking for... he's racked up 6s of penalities: insufficient smoke, incorrect passing of a gate and a pylon hit.
The Slovenian will be nervous but he's got to keep his cool out there to get in some decent times.
He completes his second run in the Master Class and it's 1:07.913 for Podlunsek with 5 seconds of penalties: insufficient smoke, and two incorrect level flying penalties at Gate 4 and 6. Back to the hangars.
Let's see what this RED BIRD can do...but just in the hangar hahaha😃😃😃
Good luck to my friend @peterpodlunsek.aero in the Master Class / Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2016!😎
#peterpodlunsek #redbullairrace #masterclass #pilot #photoshooting #abudhabi #uae #nikon #redbull #givesyouwings #airrace #aviation #airplane #aviationlovers #skylovers #instadaily #acrobaticflying #aerialphotography #picoftheday #photooftheday #photography #bestoftheday #instaphoto #predragvuckovic #extremephotographer @predragvuckovic @redbullairrace @redbull 😎
Thanks to my buddy @joergmitter for this great image @limeximages📸
All pictures on my profile are copyrighted!
Petr Kopfstein will be out on the track next. It's his first proper run in the racetrack as a Master Class pilot so he'll be keen to be seen as the strongest of the new contenders.
Slight change in wind speed and direction out there: now SW and 8kts.
After three initial split times in the green, it's fallen apart a bit for Kopfstein in this free practice. He finishes his run first run with a DNF and 6 seconds on the clock at 1:00.272 - significantly faster than Podlunsek but a deviation from the course has rendered his time null and void.
Let's see what he's got in the bag for the second run.
It's a tidier run this time, just one penalty at Gate 7 and Kopfstein clocks in at 1:06.139
Looking at the Master Class times from yesterday's cut-short Training session, those pilots that did fly were sub-1 minute with 56-57s seeming to be the benchmark. These new contenders really have their work cut out, but it's all a matter of experience right now.
Le Vot up next.
Gate 6 seems to be a tricky one as Le Vot picks up a penalty for incorrect level flying, and again at 9. 1:03.820 for Le Vot's first run and he doesn't seem to have got rid of the gremlins from last season quite yet.
His second run is looking good with split times in the green but a pylon hit at Gate 3 gives him an automatic +3s on the clock and another +1 for insufficient smoke.
Some teething problems for Le Vot to iron out but it's early days. Le Vot 1:03.294
Juan Velarde in the track. it's looking good, his offseason mods seem to be doing the trick and he's 5s faster than Le Vot but maybe a bit too enthusiastic in this free practice as he exceeds maximum G in the vertical turn. That's an automatic DNF for Velarde!
Looks like the pilots are still getting to grips with the new racetrack. Chambliss blasting his way through the track in his first run but he's opted for a Safety Climb Out (SCO) in this first run.
He's straight back in and it's looking pretty decent on the clock, but he's maybe going a little too aggressive there from Gate 6, picking up penalties at Gate 6, 7 and 11 and adding +6s. Without those penalties he'd be sub-1 minute but as it stands, Chambliss clocks in 1:05.804
Still looks like there's time for another run.
All green on the split times but Gate 6 catches out Chambliss again. Just +2s extra on this run and he's topped the timesheets so far with 1:01.978
We know Chambliss will be looking to shave at least 3s off his run before Saturday, let's see what he comes back with later.
Michael Goulian up next. Goulian has been super busy over the offseason break working on making his plane faster, smoother and more agile. Let's see how it plays out as he gets prepped for the racetrack.
A little conservative there; maybe he's just finding his lines right now. Incorrect level flying at Gate 4 puts +2s on the timesheets in this first run and Goulian sits behind Chambliss with 1:01.313.
Back in the track for the second run in this free practice session.
Goulian goes aggressive and he goes over G, that's an automatic DNF and the end to his flying session.
And France's Ivanoff is into the track. He's going full throttle... maybe too full throttle as he exceeds start speed limit at the Start Gate. Penalties at Gate 5 and 12 despite this gutsy flying... we know Ivanoff likes a technical track but the speed seems to be throwing him off his lines out there.
Another over-G for this pilot and it's a DNF. Too bad... He appears to be going for a second run and it's fast... 2s at Gate 5 but that 58s time won't count as he's again gone over-G. DNF on the timesheets for Ivanoff.
Canada's McLeod now surging into the track. Looking good and FAST... but there seems to be a pattern forming as McLeod also exceeds maximum G in the first vertical turn... another incorrect level flying at Gate 5 and AGAIN he exceeds maximum G. He's determined to finish this run to get in some airtime in the racetrack but he's just going too aggressive right now.
He's pulled it around for his second run in the racetrack and it's looking good again. Split times are green and he's got a 2s advantage... but yet AGAIN it's over-G! That's the third DNF on the timesheets this afternoon in Abu Dhabi.
Nigel Lamb up next and he's looking very calm and collected in the track. Nice selection of green split times coming up, and he's gaining ground throughout the racetrack. He finishes with a 4.9s lead and the first clean run today... a very swift move up the ranks to first with 56.416
Lamb's confidence is definitely showing today!He's back into the track...
Looking even faster as he keeps flying clean and smooth... a slight dip in the splits as he loses half a second and he's pulled a little too hard in that vertical turn and over Gs in his second run. It's pulled him off his game a bit with as he picks up +2s at Gate 12 and an automatic DNF for the G, but that first blistering run will stand up.