Sonka: "This is my first ever win in Qualifying so I'm really happy. You must push everything forward and I have a great team. The most important thing will happen tomorrow – it's good that we know we can fly fast."
MASTER CLASS QUALIFYING OFFICIAL RESULT:
PRESS CONFERENCE COMING UP IN A FEW MINUTES...
Thanks for being with us today and we'll leave you with some good vibes from Abu Dhabi! See you again tomorrow for Race Day!
Hello and welcome to Race Day here in Abu Dhabi, where we are settled in ready for a wild afternoon of aerial action! We're glad to have you with us for the first race of 2017, taking place in the UAE capital for the tenth season!
Today we are pleased to be able to broadcast the Challenger Cup race LIVE for our fans! So buckle up and get set for even more racing today!
For those of you that follow the sport, 2017 already looks to be a standout season with 2 new pilots joining the Master Class – Cristian Bolton of Chile and Mikael Brageot of France!
So far this week we've had the Free Practice sessions and yesterday's Qualifying for both the Challenger Cup and Master Class pilots...
It was Germany's Florian Berger who made a bid for the win here in Abu Dhabi after topping the timesheet in Qualifying – and we'll have the Challenger Cup taking place in just a few moments...
CHALLENGER CUP STARTLIST:
And our first pilot out today is French newcomer Baptiste Vignes...
He's early rolling out of Gate 7 and that's cost him... it's 2s in penalties and he only gets a single run here to try to make the Abu Dhabi podium
And it's 01:06.323 for our first pilot! Not a fast run, but for his first race, that's a solid start
Now over to Luke Czepiela of Poland, who is in his 3rd season... let's see if his experience will pay off today after a disappointing result in Qualifying
- Pylon Hit!
And that is not what he was hoping for! It's our first pylon hit of the day!
Our Airgators are out and into action... we think they might have a few of those today :)