Goulian Scores on Home Soil in Red Bull Air Race

Michael Goulian kisses the bricks on the race course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

Michael Goulian had a perfect run in the Final 4 round at the first of two Red Bull Air Race venues on American soil, topping the podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. An emotional Goulian kissed the bricks on the Speedway, following a tradition started by car racers he’s admired since he was a child. He is the first American Red Bull Air Race pilot to win at Indy, much to the excitement of the 40,000 air race fans in attendance.

“The road is often bumpy, but when it’s smooth, it’s an amazing ride!” said Goulian after the race. Goulian barely made it into the final round as he was “the fastest loser” after the Round of 14, where the racers compete against each other, earning him the opportunity to fly in the Round of 8, which is all based on time and penalty points. He advanced to the Final 4 and finished with a penalty-free 1 minute 6.2 second lap, half a second ahead of Canadian Pete McLeod and 0.7 seconds ahead of Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff, both of whom had their first visits to the podium for the season. Czech pilot Martin Sonka, who dominated the past three races, dropped to second place after a disappointing 10th finish this weekend.

While a combined win is not yet secured, Goulian sits pretty with five points more than Sonka and seven more than Australian Matt Hall. The three are now guaranteed to be on the podium for the World Championship. However, the position in which they will stand will be determined in Fort Worth on November 18. It is still anyone’s race.

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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