Budapest Red Bull Air Race Brings Sonka to the Top

Czech pilot Martin Sonka finishes a terrific race, which resulted in a win at the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest. Armin Walcher/Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship continued this weekend with the fourth competition for the year, this one in Budapest. The race saw a new cast of characters on the podium. Martin Sonka stole the trophy, and after a season of only standing on the podium once before this year, that time in third place, the Czech pilot showed great excitement after the race.

“It’s a beautiful view from on top of the podium. I love it every time,” Sonka said. “It was a very important race because now we are in the middle of the season and of course it’s really important for us to stay in contact with the top pilot.”

Sonka is a strong contender, placing second in last year’s overall Red Bull Air Race World Championship. With his win, he moves up to third place with 34 points, nine points behind American Michael Goulian who placed fourth in Budapest. Australian Matt Hall, who placed third this weekend, is in the lead with 45 points for the season.

Goulian had a rough go in the final four round accumulating nine seconds in penalties, including a pylon hit. He simply pushed it a bit too hard. Without the penalties Goulian’s time would have put him in first place.

French pilot Mika Brageot had his best race of the year in Budapest, which put him in second place. The successful result moved Brageot into fourth place overall, seven points behind Sonka and eight points ahead of Japanese pilot Yoshi Muroya who won last year’s championship but has had a disappointing start to the 2018 season.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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