Kirby Chambliss Scores Big Win in Red Bull Air Race

Kirby Chambliss (center) took first place at the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest. Pete McCloud (left) finished second, and Yoshi Muroya came in third. Red Bull Air Race

Kirby Chambliss, one of two U.S. pilots competing in the Masters class of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships, scored a big win at the race in Budapest, Hungary, over the weekend. While Chambliss has seen great success at the races, with two world championships on the books, he had experienced a long dry spell having not stood at the podium since 2008. But he showed that he’s still got the right stuff in Budapest.

As the first pilot to fly in the Final 4 round, Chambliss flew a perfect line and finished with a time of 1:00.632. Canadian Pete McCloud was up next. While his first three split times were slightly ahead of Chambliss’, he finished a tenth of a second behind. Czech pilot Martin Sonka made a slight error, climbing through an Air Gate, which earned him a 2-second penalty. Lastly, Japan’s Yoshi Muroya flew a clean run, but his time was only good enough for third place.

The Final 4 happened to include the top four pilots overall as the win in Budapest brought Chambliss up to fourth place with 25 point, only one point behind McCloud. Japan’s Yoshi Muroya maintains a sizable lead with 39 points. In second overall, Sonka has racked up 37 points so far this year.

Michael Goulian was looking strong in Budapest until he went beyond the G-limit and was disqualified. This was the first race this year where Goulian missed out on points. He is now in eight place.

For a behind the scenes look at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, read the August issue of Flying.

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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