Michael Goulian Snags Top Spot After Red Bull Air Race in Russia

The battle for the podium was close on the Red Bull Air Race course in Kazan, Russia. Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Yet another exciting Red Bull Air Race took place over the weekend, this time in Kazan, Russia. The Russian race course treated the Americans right. After the Final 4 runs had been completed, both Michael Goulian and Kirby Chambliss stood on the podium, taking second and third place respectively. At the top of the podium was Czech pilot Martin Sonka, his second consecutive win.

As is often the case with the Red Bull Air Races, the margins of error were tiny. All of the competitors in the Final 4 flew clean races and Sonka beat Goulian by a mere tenth of a second. Chambliss was less than a tenth of a second behind Goulian, and Juan Velarde of Spain, who barely missed the podium, would have taken the top spot had he flown only half a second faster.

While Sonka has won two races in a row, Goulian’s second place result brought him to the lead for the season with 55 points. He’s six points ahead of Sonka who is tied with Australian Matt Hall, who had a disappointing run in Kazan, getting knocked out in the Round of 8 and walking away with only four points. While the fight is tight for the top three spots in the World Champoinships, the leaders have a comfortable gap of more than 20 points. In fourth place is Mike Brageot with 27 points after the first five races.

It will take a lot for Brageot or any of the other contenders to catch the Goulian, Sonka and Hall in the last three races. But the battle for the bronze, silver and gold is sure to be exciting. The next race will be held in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, on September 15 and 16, followed by Indianapolis on October 6 and 7. The final competition will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 17 and 18.

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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