INDIANAPOLIS – More than 40,000 spectators witnessed racing history as pilot Michael Goulian became the first American to win the Indianapolis stop of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, currently in its third year at the iconic Motor Speedway. Intense racing action was paired with a beautiful summer-like day, as pilots raced the most technical course of the season, reaching speeds of 230mph while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigated a low-level slalom track marked by 80-foot-high, air-filled pylons.
Master Class pilot Michael Goulian was fighting back tears after a hard-fought victory, especially when he barely made it out of Sunday’s opening round as the fastest loser. Meanwhile, his two remaining rivals for the World Championship, Czech pilot Martin Šonka and Australia’s Matt Hall, stumbled, as American Kirby Chambliss outflew Šonka in the Round of 14, and Hall hit a pylon in the Round of 8. In the Final 4, Goulian was rock solid, delivering a time of 1:06.208 and solidifying the victory.
“It’s a big day. Right now, the season doesn’t even mean anything, because to win at Indy is amazing,” said Goulian, his emotion evident as he realized that he would be able to kiss the famous Indy bricks like the Indianapolis 500 heroes of his childhood. “Sometimes the day just works out for you, and today it did. It feels great to win here.”
Goulian’s Indianapolis result propelled him back to the top of the standings at 70 points, while Šonka is now second at 65 and Hall holds 63. With only seven total points separating the trio, only one thing is sure – the season finale in Fort Worth, Texas this November will crown a first-time Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
In the Challenger Class, American pilot Kevin Coleman was looking for his first win in home skies as he appeared unbeatable, blazing to a Challenger Class track record of 1:09.660. Bergér, who has won the past two overall Challenger Cup titles, knew he had to perform if he was going to have any chance for an overall hat-trick, and perform he did, clocking 1:09.397 to deny Coleman’s dream.
Master Class results: 1. Michael Goulian (USA), 2. Pete McLeod (CAN), 3. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 4. Ben Murphy (GBR), 5. Cristian Bolton (CHI), 6. Matt Hall (AUS), 7. Juan Velarde (ESP), 8. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 9. Mika Brageot (FRA), 10. Martin Šonka (CZE), 11. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 12. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE), 14. François Le Vot (FRA).
World Championship standings after seven races: 1. Michael Goulian (USA) 70 points, 2. Martin Šonka (CZE) 65, 3. Matt Hall (AUS) 63, 4. Mika Brageot (FRA) 36, 5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 34, 6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 27, 7. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 25, 8. Ben Murphy (GBR) 22, 9. François Le Vot (FRA) 21, 10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 20, 11. Juan Velarde (ESP) 20, 12. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 17, 13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 16, 14. Cristian Bolton (CHI) 12.
Courtesy of the Red Bull Air Race