Red Bull Air Race Windsor Qualifying Play-By-Play

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Red Bull Air Race Windsor Qualifying Play-By-Play

Welcome to the Canadian sibling of the international twin cities of Windsor and Detroit, host to the third round of the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Series.

In 2008, Detroit was the host city with Windsor looking on. This year, the Stanley Cup runner-up city will play second fiddle as 15 of the world's best aerobatics pilots battle it out for the one championship point at stake today.

The first qualifying will start today at 14:00 -4 GMT so sit back and relax as I'll bring the live play-by-play. All times displayed are done in the local time.

1730: Well, the qualifying is Kirby's, but will he be able to win the race? Stay tuned tomorrow afternoon!

 

1627: Last up is Kirby Chambliss. The Texan has a new engine but had to cut back on a few horsepower. Nonetheless, he puts in a clean run, sets the track record of 1:07.95 - a full 1.25 seconds faster than Paul Bonhomme! "I'll take that point" says Chambliss over the radio.

 

1625: Paul Bonhomme comes in, puts in a new track record of 1:09.21 with no penalties and sets the new track record!

 

1621: It's time for Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff. He's coming off a hot streak in San Diego. He has broken the 1:10 barrier this round and puts in a 1:09.5. He is just 0.01 second short of Bonhomme's record in the first round! That's close!

 

1618: It's time for Hannes Arch. He said he didn't like this track and has put in a 1:10.89 with a two-second penalty towards the end. He's upset and mutters "firetruck" missing a couple of the middle letters!

 

1615: Can Nigel Lamb cool Hall's heels? He puts in a clean run but is 0.47 of a second short finishing 1:10.80. Just short of Hall...

 

1612: The gate has been cleaned up and Matt Hall comes in. The Aussie flies a disciplined race and registers a 1:10.33 with no penalties and the lead so far...

 

1607: It's time for Michael Goulian. He has been having a tough time of late and has flown an excellent race but oh wait, he's touched the start/finish gate in his last lap! Oh no, the American would have been a shoe-in for the top 10 but has lost out! His time is 1:16.21 with six seconds for touching a gate...

 

1604: It's time for Mike Mangold. The Californian is having a better race, and is BEHIND McLeod! He has accrued a two-second penalty for flying too high in the quadro. He sets a time of 1:13.40

 

1601: It's Sergey Rakhmanin's time to shine. The Russian appears to be struggling here and there and has received a two-second IKF penalty. He finishes with a 1:16.06. His first qualifying time will stick...

 

1558: The torn gate has been replaced and up next is Pete McLeod. The crowd is going wild as he flies in with discipline and vigour! The third last man in the first qualifying has improved significantly and puts in a 1:13.24. The crowd is going crazy!

 

1553: Alejandro Maclean is in next. He has shown discipline throughout his run but unfortunately hit a gate. The first gate-touch of the day. He finishes with a 1:18.12. He is not happy and is not going to improve on his previous qualifying...

 

1550: Glen Dell is up next as he ALSO gets the same penalty at the SAME GATE! Oh dear, not good for the South African! He receives a 1:16.69...

 

1547: Matthias Dolderer has just finished his first run in Q2. He receives a two-second FTH penalty. It's a slight improvement, but not what he wanted...

 

1535: About 10 minutes to go until the final qualifying session and we are having the Red Bull Air Force doing some more dives. It's good fun to watch. The order of qualifying will be the same as the previous round...

 

1455: So, with the first round done, the running order is Bonhomme, Chambliss, Ivanoff, Arch, Lamb, Hall, Mangold, Goulian, Maclean, Rakhmanin, McLeod, Dolderer, and Dell. With a second qualifying session coming up and the best times counting, these standings can change and they can change drastically. See you for Q2!

 

1438: Kirby Chambliss is the last man up for Q1. He flies a clean and fast race but comes just short of Bonhomme with a 1:09.71. Stay tuned in about one hour for Q2...

 

1436: Paul Bonhomme is the second last man up and sets the track record! He sets a 1:09.49! Amazing run from the Brit! It's going to be hard for Chambliss whose up next to beat that...

 

1432: San Diego winner Nicolas Ivanoff registers a 1:10.18! All the pilots here seem to be playing King of the Hill! Each pilot is besting the other even slightly! When he's told of the lead by race director Drew Searle, he replies with a simple "ok thank you!"

 

1430: The defending world champion Hannes Arch has come up and steals Lamb's record from atop the standings with a 1:10.47. The times are getting tight here...

 

1427: Nigel Lamb is up next. He bursts Hall's bubble and registers a very fast time of 1:10.89!

 

1425: UPDATE from the Red Bull Air Race airport: Michael Goulian's aircraft has been investigated and there seems to be no issues. Phew!

 

1423: Matt Hall of Australia flies his MXS into the track and registers the fastest time so far! He puts in a 1:11.63 and takes the lead away from Mike Mangold! This is Hall's third Red Bull Air Race ever and he keeps impressing at every turn!

 

1420: Michael Goulian from Boston is coming in. The American has had no luck this year but he puts in a nice clean run and registers a 1:12.06. He is 0.02 of a second slower than Mangold! An amazing run but it seems like the technical director wants to see Goulian's Edge 540. This is not good since he has had a terrible time of late with the scrutineers...

 

1417: Mike Mangold has put in a new engine for his Edge 540 and is hungry for the title! The Californian registers a 1:12.04 and the lead so far...

 

1413: Sergey Rakhmanin from Russia flies his MXS into the track and while a little high in the chicane, he's ok! He registers a 1:14.15. A little slow for the man from St. Petersburg...

 

1409: Pete McLeod is flying in to a lot of applaud from the Windsor fans! The cheering is deafening as the Canadian crowd supports their man! McLeod has taken a different line from the three previous pilots before him and takes a two-second ILF penalty! He still has one more run and puts in a 1:15.33. He's ahead of Dolderer and Dell right now.

 

1406: Alejandro Maclean from Spain is going through and has flown a clean race! 1:12.07 - over three seconds faster than current second place man Dolderer!

 

1403: Glen Dell is next as he flies similar to Dolderer and receives another two-second penalty on the same gate! He registers a 1:17.97.

 

1400: Matthias Dolderer gets us started and flies a clean albeit rollercoaster race. He flies too high, gets two seconds added to his time and registers a 1:15.97. Good first run for the German rookie!

 

1355: With five minutes to go until qualifying, Jürg Fleischmann in the RB105 helicopter decides to fly around the track!

1340: With about 20 minutes to go until the first qualifying round, the Red Bull Air Force's Human Racing League has done a jump from a Red Bull helicopter. We're being told that Kirby Chambliss has had to knock off some horsepower from his engine. Yoshi Muroya is out of qualifying as a precaution because of a pylon hit in the practice. As well, he is not going to be present in the race tomorrow. This makes two pilots that aren't able to compete with Besenyei out already because of a damaged MXS after making a rough landing earlier this week. Matthias will start off the qualifying soon...

 

1315: There is a lot of hoopla going on, and the starting order for the pilots is going to be Yoshi Muroya, Matthias Dolderer, Glen Dell, Alejandro Maclean, Pete McLeod, Sergey Rakhmanin, Mike Mangold, Michael Goulian, Matt Hall, Nigel Lamb, Hannes Arch, Nicolas Ivanoff, Paul Bonhomme, and Kirby Chambliss. The order is determined by the slowest going first.

1300: We've had a WWII Corsair aircraft make a few passes and right now, a CF-18 aircraft has been making passes over the Detroit River. The CF-18 Hornet from the RCAF making a few passes. The boom is deafening!

 

1235: The two anthems are playing with the guest team - the United States of America - going first. Next up was the Canadian anthem and a huge cheer emanated from the crowds on both sides!

 

1220: The Race Club, the High Flyer's Lounge and the fan viewing areas are filled and the track is ready to be flown through with all pylons on both sides of the border inflated. In about 10 minutes or so, the pre-race show will begin. It'll be primarily military aircraft - and you can hear it right now! Representatives of Hannes Arch and Matthias Dolderer were in earlier handing out media packages for the former and gummy aircraft from the latter! I guess a bit of swag goes a long way for them! Sergio Pla might be flying the media plane around to demonstrate the maneouvres...

 

1145: It should be known that the Detroit River that makes the border between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan is one of the busiest in the world. The Ambassador Bridge is indicative of this trade that occurs between Canada and the United States and it shows with trucks lining up on either end that sometimes stretch out as far as eight miles (13 kilometres). The river is also a very busy shipping lane and just now, a cargo ship passed through. It was escorted by police boats so as not to disrupt the setting up of the pylons and to not hit the barges where the air gates are.

 

1130: The media centre is open and the lineups along Goyeau St., Ouelette Ave., and other arteries throughout Windsor are packed! Fans of all stripes are standing and waiting to get in. The media centre lineup was less chaotic as we were ushered in quite quickly half an hour ago. The pylons are being inflated with the backdrop of the GM building in Detroit and the weather service predicts good weather today with a slight breeze - nothing like the unfortunate cancellation of Saturday qualifying last year.

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