Berger set the pace yesterday with 59s so let's see what Coleman can do to get close to that!
The American, now in his 2nd season is ready to race!
He's in the green by a full 2s and he needs to keep that momentum, he didn't start well here in Abu Dhabi
And it's green again on the split times but that Vertical Turn has cost him time... but it's a 1:04.757 which moves him into the lead as we approach the halfway point
Ryfa: "The VTM and Gates 7 and 14 are the key, but you have to fly really tight in the chicane."
The Abu Dhabi track is fast and has a high risk of over G, which is why the pilots here know that the secret to getting it right is to find the optimum balance between flying the tightest line and getting right on the edge with the G – easier said than done
Second half of our Challenger Cup coming up soon – MURPHY / BERGER / ASTLES / RYFA to fly
The Challenger Cup is a breeding ground for future Master Class pilots and we've seen several pilots progress into the elite category since it was introduced in 2014
We have 6 of those graduates now in the Master Class – Kopfstein, Podlunsek, Brageot, Le Vot, Bolton, Velarde – and this is testament to the success of the program
Britain's Ben Murphy – a former leader of the Red Arrows RAF display team – is getting set for his flight now
He posted a 1:00 time in Qualifying so should be able to easily shave off a few seconds from the fastest time set by Coleman of 1:04.757
He's through the chicane and that was a strong pull through the VTM!
He's got a good line there and he's green on the split times after the first lap!
That's a wider line around to gate 10 and that could be a good tactic to get into the final part of the track!
It's good for the Brit but that's under review...
But Race Director Steve Jones gives him the OK from the tower – it's 01:02.520 and he moves clear into the lead by 2s!
Here comes Florian Berger – 2016 winner and fastest in yesterday's Qualifying
He's the one to watch and he's learning his craft with real finesse!
And it's green and green again – and there it is! Easy work for the German, clean and straight into first place with 1:00.561!
Coleman: "I haven't been fast all week and that's about as good as I could do, clean with no penalties. Hopefully we can take some points and move on to San Diego. It's all on me – I felt like I flew pretty well but it wasn't fast."
And now we move on to our only female competitor, Melanie Astles
Current conditions in the track:
Max last 10 min: 9 kts
Temperature: 27 ℃
Air Pressure: 1011.7 mbar
And she's in the red on the split times but it's controlled and smooth – it could be enough for a podium for Astles! Clean and into 2nd! 01:01.197 on the clock!