HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE 3RD ROUND OF THE 2015 RED BULL AIR RACE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FROM ROVINJ, CROATIA!
For those of you here with us in 2014, the first ever race in Croatia gave us plenty of thrills and spills...
Not to mention a record number of pylon hits, with 48 of the air-filled gates taking a beating...
We'll be here from today until the action comes to a close on Sunday and expect plenty of excitement as the competition really heats up as we land in Europe.
Good morning/Dobro jutro from Rovinj! It's a cool day here on the peninsula with winds around 8.4kts from the North West.
The Challengers had an early start, getting familiar with the Rovinj racetrack this morning in Training. Results coming up!
Challenger Cup Results Training 2
We've got Masters Training #2 at 13:00 local time, and the Challengers will be out on the track again at 14:20 for their third Training session.
Here are the official start lists for both the Masters and Challengers Training sessions this afternoon:
We're super excited to be back in Rovinj... the weather is forecast as sunny and dry all weekend – great for both our returning fans and new fans this year! Couldn't have asked for better.
For the pilots, they'll be watching those winds. Last year, we saw a significant change in wind direction and many pylon hits. The offshore breezes will have a huge effect on the pilots' performance out on the track over the coming days.
The technical track also poses some new challenges for the pilots...
It's the first Vertical Turn this season that you can't fly flat.
They will have to do quite a lot of vertical manoeuvring. Its not a long track like Chiba and it's going to be easy for the pilots to get confused as all the gates come into view- Mike Mangold
... ignore today's timesheets. They don't mean anything as it's only day one...
You can't be too aggressive on this track. Over G will be an issue... The guys with the faster raceplanes will have to be careful.
We're pretty sure that the Velarde smile is going to become as famous as F1's Daniel Ricciardo's beam.
Le Vot, Velarde and their teams get on some selfie stick action out on the water.
A little light-hearted relief before things get serious on the track for you in the video below. Featuring the legend that is Jim Reed's beard...
A quick chat with Martin Sonka in the race hangars reveals that Gate 4 (Gate 10) is proving to be where the biggest risk of a pylon hit is.
Rovinj 2015 Racetrack
We're spying a new hashtag on the horizon... it's #wingletwars for the two MXS race planes out there! Matt Hall found the pace in yesterday's training while Nigel Lamb lagged into fifth.
Let's see who will win the #wingletwars in Training #3. Not long to wait now.
Quick word from Pete McLeod before he gets in the air:
I feel good, I slept well. And it’s still early in the game.
Le Vot, Velarde, Chambliss have flown their Training #2 session, with Sonka out on the racetrack right now. He's currently leading the standings with his first Run.
All pilots have picked up penalties so far in at least one Run. Gate 4 seems to be the main culprit.
Besenyei, Goulian and Muroya have also clocked in their times. Muroya – who set the track record at the last race in Chiba and took third place in Rovinj last year – seems to be finding his pace in Rovinj again. He's nudged Sonka off the top spot on the timesheets with an unofficial time of 53.947
The pilots are definitely discovering their best lines and the times are getting significantly faster for some. No one has topped Bonhomme's 53.471 yet though.
In complete contrast to his winning performance last year, Arch is really struggling out there. A pylon hit seems to have really put him off his game and he's elected for a safety climb out (SCO). He's already landed back at the race airport and we'll find out what's going on with the Austrian pilot.