There goes defending World Champion Nigel Lamb. He's been struggling to find the power he needs from his raceplane this season and the Fort Worth track is looking to be another obstacle in his fight for a World Championship podium
lamb's just been caught out by Gate 8 and he picks up 2s automatically for incorrect level flying. A similar story at the FInish Gate and he's just got to make this second run work
He enters the track with a cautious 198kts for his scond run and the split times red... he's got 1.6s to make up if he wants to challenge Dolderer or Muroya for that top spot in the timesheets
That last vertical turn has really taken its toll as he loses 2.6s overall and finishes with 58.359, placing him currently in 5th position with six pilots left to fly in this Training session.
Canadian pilot McLeod is up next.
He had a great start in Training 1, finishing in second place, but has yet to repeat that kind of solid performance.
It's an average result for McLeod in his first run with 58.103, +2.392 slower than Dolderer
We know McLeod likes to fly on the edge, and we know that if he can keep his run through the track clean, he can achieve great things. This will be a test ahead of Qualifying and so far, he's on the pace at Gate 7
Through Gate 11 and he's keeping it smoother and clean but he's lacking that aggressive edge that he needs in this technical track... 1.117 off Dolderer's time and hes currently sitting in third place with 56.828
Sonka has enjoyed two podium visits this year, including a 2nd place finish in Rovinj, another notoriously technical track.
It looks good as his first split goes green but Gate 8 is just causing all kinds of mischief today, and Sonka falls foul with a 2s penalty. Without it he'd be just 0.7s off Dolderer's time so it's a case of keeping it tidy and smooth and he could be a real contender for another podium here in the USA
He's back int the track and nicely done through the chicane, as he claws 0.156 off the first split time. Just got to keep that pace...
but he's lost it through Gate 10 and gone a little off balance as he picks up a penalty for deviating from the course. He tops off with an incorrect passing of an air gate penalty for flying too high and it's a scratched session for the Czech. So it'll have to be that first run that counts, and it places him in 7th place overall currently, with 58.436
Austria's Hannes Arch now into the track. He's ALWAYS a danger for the podium... you never know if he's going to pull out a stellar performance at the last second.
And Gate 8 does it again! A disappointing performance on his first run for Arch as he repositions to return to the track for his second run of Training 43.
He's in through the start gate with 199.59kts and Gate 4 is tight but he's climbed in the gate and another penalty at Gate 11, again another incorrect pass for climbing in the gate. That's 4s that Hannes Arch will not want to be carrying around with him and he finishes up with 59.184 and currently 9th place.
We know the Austrian is capable of much, much more so don't assume he's done yet.
World Championship title contender Matt Hall up next. He's just 5 points behind current WC leader Paul Bonhomme and this could be the race that decides whether he's gunning for that title in Las Vegas or not. Bonhomme knows Hall is a major threat and he'll be watching and listening.
- Pylon Hit!
Hall is green on the splits; he'll know what Dolderer's achieved and he'll know how much harder he has to push.
But no! It's a pylon hit at Gate 7 for Hall as he wobbles through Gate 8 and picks up another penalty! That is not the way he would have intended this final Training session to go!
Still, that's partly what Training is for. Work out those gremlins. Make those mistakes and learn your lines.
And a quick turnaround and back in the track for Run 2, and he's still not matched Dolderer's pace yet. It's cleaner though but Hall is losing time out there, just 1.126 off Dolderer's pace and counting.
He's pulled it back a bit as he passes through Gate 11 but it's a short-lived boost as he finishes with 56.850
That's only enough to put him in fourth place. We know Hall has to fly no holds barred this weekend and that kind of performance on Race Day tomorrow won't cut it. But Hall will know what he has to do. Watch this space.
Paul Bonhomme just waiting for the OK to go into the track.
It's going to be an interesting run. Has Dolderer made that top spot unreachable? Bonhomme is pretty adept at snatching the lead, just when you think there's no more shortcuts to be found in the track...
Here he comes. 199.83kts through the Start Gate, and he's already in the green splits.
Bonhomme is looking so smooth out there! He's just a master of keeping cool, clean and aggressive, a perfect balance. And the time splits agree, they're all green and he's 0.124 faster than Dolderer. He finishes with a 0.602 advantage and he's telling Dolderer loud and clear - "I am not done, not yet"
But shock! He's under review and a late penalty at Gate 11 means he's not quite there! These mistakes can happen at any point in the track and no pilot can afford to lose focus for a millisecond.
Back into the track for his second run and he'll be tired. Those tight high-G turns are a huge strain on the pilots and require so much stamina. Bonhomme will be hard-pressed to find any time in the track but he does it right at the last moment, as he storms through yet again on his last run to steal the first place.
Just when you think they couldn't get much faster...
Last up for this Training session is Massachusetts native Mike Goulian
He's not hanging around and he's back into the track for the last flying session before Qualifying. it's a slow descent down the timesheets for Goulian as he loses time in the track and finishes up 3.7s slower than Bonhomme.
A quick sprint back into the racetrack, and clean through the start gate with 198.87kts and he's fighting the plane a bit in those vertical turns. Clean through the pylons but he's leaking time and energy everywhere as he struggles to keep any kind of power into that final Finish Gate.
And Challengers Qualifying has kicked off with Peter Podlunsek of Slovenia!
And Gate 8 yet AGAIN is causing issues, as Podlunsek incurs a penalty. He's looking particularly sluggish and he won't be happy with that performance at all.
Brageot looking cool and calm, and smooth. A great start speed entry at 198.37kts and he's finding time left, right and centre. Those splits are looking great and very, very green
Brazil's Francis Barros is next up for this Challengers' Qualifying session