He's green on the first split... and the second... and he pulls a full second ahead of Brageot by the third split
Great work from the current standings leader – it's 54.787 and this is effortless for Sonka
So far... Hall // Muroya // Chambliss // Sonka in the Round of 8
Podlunsek V Goulian up next
Peter Podlunsek got an unexpected podium at the last round in San Diego and with the pairing against Goulian, it's not inconceivable that he could move forward here in Japan
Podlunsek is first to fly in this heat against American Goulian...
And he's into the track... and there is the buzzer at Gate 7 for incorrect level and the buzzer sounds!
That could leave the door wide open for Goulian, who also seems to have stepped it up this year
Podlunsek finishes with 58.008 on the clock, including those penalty seconds
Still holding on to the Fastest Loser spot is Kopfstein, with 55.597 on the timesheets
Goulian enters the track at 197.57kts – fastest we've seen today
And he's green on the split times! Great news for Goulian... it's green again!
And he clears the track, clean and consistently... it's 56.380 for Goulian! He wins his heat and joins fellow US pilot Chambliss in the Round of 8!
Two heats left to play out in the Round of 14 – Cristian Bolton V Matthias Dolderer // Francois Le Vot V Pete McLeod
Muroya: "I think the track is a little slower but we stick with the same plan. We have more space to go, next round we need to keep the pace up."
And here comes Chile's Cristian Bolton – one of the most popular pilots and always smiling :)
He's up against Dolderer today so not so much to be happy about
He will set the pace for the defending World Champion and the odds are stacked against him...
Let's see what he can lay down... it's a 59.044 for Bolton
This still keeps Kopfstein the the Fastest Loser spot...
Now will Dolderer blow hot or cold?
He talks a good game but words aren't enough today – actions will prevail
Here comes the German pilot and in Qualifying he pulled a 54s out of the bag...
First split time is green...
Our track analyst praised Dolderer's race line yesterday – it was a risk but it paid off
And Dolderer is green all the way, putting an early end to Bolton's race
It's 55.805 for Dolderer and he goes through...
Final heat of the Round of 14 is Le Vot V McLeod