Paul Bonhomme started the sixth season of the Red Bull Air Race with a stylish victory! With a setup throughout practice that was consistently faster than the rest, the Englishman's quest for a title is long overdue.
Last year, he missed out on the title in the final race against Mike Mangold.
Second place in the Abu Dhabi race went to Hannes Arch of Austria, who took the first podium of his career. With a pair of three-second penalties, he was about 7 seconds behind Bonhomme. Mangold rounded out the top three.
"I'm very pleased, especially with the consistency," remarked Bonhomme about his aircraft. When talking about his first-place run with Arch, he said "I've been watching Hannes all week and he's been doing well. If you take off the two penalties he got, it was very close."
Placing 10th last year, Arch said, "it actually feels like I won" when he took his first ever podium. "To beat the defending champion is unbelievable," he added.
Mangold was more philosophical.
"We did the best we could," he said.
Indeed they did, and it looks like we're in for a show. Coming up in about three weeks is the first stop in the series' American tour. We're off to San Diego.
See you then!
Photography Credit: Daniel Grund