Budapest gets ready for the Red Bull Air Race on the weekend!
Big news to kick off here in Budapest – Peter Besenyei returns for his home race with a brand new plane, an Edge 540 V3. Will we see a revitalised Godfather of the Red Bull Air Race here at his home race?
If you're in Budapest you'll start to hear the buzz of the Thunderbolt engines as the pilots get into the track to start their Training. Le Vot is up first.
Lots of red up on the timings boards today... incorrect level flying at Gate 2 and Gate 4 seem to be the main culprits
Current leader at the hafway point in Training 1 is Yoshi Muroya, who has flown faster than Ivanoff, Chambliss, Besenyei, Velarde and Le Vot. Seven pilots still to fly.
Air Pressure: 1013.1 mbar
Wind Speed/Direction: 7kts East-SouthEast
We're already seeing a change in wind direction, swinging around from the North.
There's also a lot of talk about the race planes losing power because of the heat. The engines will not like this temperature. It’s hotter than Abu Dhabi and more humid.
Only Ivanoff and Muroya have managed to get through the racetrack without penalties in at least one Run. Gate 2 and Gate 4 still posing problems – Dolderer in the track now and hasn't managed to evade an incorrect level flying penalty either.
No results for Hannes in Training 1 as he exceeds maximum G not once, but twice! Still another Training session to go. We saw this erratic flying in Rovinj and Arch brought it together in the last round... will it be a similar story in Hungary?
Matt Hall up next. He's had a storming year so far. No race win yet but he's taking his time and keeping his cool.
Current fastest pilot out on the track is McLeod, who has ousted Muroya off the top spot by just +0.046s
A fair run through the track by the Australian, but it's a +2 second penalty at Gate 5. Let's see if he can tidy it up on his second Run.
Matt Hall is on point in Training 1! He sets the bar at 58.693, that's +1.459 faster than Pete McLeod.
Bonhomme up next - will he take the bait?
Bonhomme answering Hall already with a 59.366 but it's not quite enough.
It's a less composed second Run in the track as Bonhomme pushes too hard through Gate 5 and picks up an incorrect level flying penalty. But even with that extra two seconds he's clocked in 59.272 and takes second place in Training 1.
That'll be a clear signal to Matt Hall that the race well and truly on, then?
They're chipping away at the times, shaving off a half second here and there so it seems the pilots are already starting to find their lines. As expected, less penalties too with all pilots so far, bar Le Vot, having put in at least one clean run through the track.
Pete McLeod now looking for a smoother run. There's no doubt he's hungry in Hungary for that second podium this season.
Hall finds his pace with 57.775 and Bonhomme is on the case...
Bonhomme is ahead on the first split but he's soon in the red. Another Run, another chance to match Hall's pace.
And again Bonhomme leads the first split time by -0.065s but he just can't find the speed to challenge Hall. And it's another blow as he picks up a +2s penalty at Gate 9 for incorrect level flying.
Hall's done it again.
We're sure we can hear Australia cheer from here?
Arch is still waiting for his Training 2 run. Could he be a thorn in Hall's side this weekend?
Arch still testing his limits out there and it's not pretty on the timesheets – a DNF for deviation from the course and an SCO, a pylon hit, some incorrect level flying and finally exceeding the start speed limit. Is he just getting it all out of his system? We've definitely witnessed a similar story before...