Red Bull Air Race 2016: Lamb slaughters Qualifying in Germany
Nigel Lamb (GB) finished first on Qualifying day at the Red Bull Air Race in Germany on Saturday 3 September 2016.
He logged the fastest lap of the day with a time of 53.110s – which put him at the top of the start list for Sunday’s important day of full racing.
“I’m feeling on it this week,” said Lamb after his flight. “It’s a relatively straightforward track in some ways, but yet it’s very, very easy to lose time. You’ve got to keep focused on every element.”
Behind him was Australian Matt Hall and Martin Sonka (CZE) in second and third spot.
Beyond Lamb roaring back to form however, the big news was that local hero and this season’s current overall leader Matthias Dolderer (GER) didn’t do well.
He went into this weekend with high hopes and full confidence, but he finished eighth in Qualifying.
That might not bode well for his race times on Sunday.
A weekend at the Red Bull Air Race consists of two distinct rounds. Saturday sees Qualifying heats – the best time counts and the results determine the order of racing on race day.
Sunday is always Race Day, when the 14 pilots go head-to-head in a series of rounds. The fastest pilots go through to the next round, with the fastest of the final four taking the overall race win for the weekend.
That means although the Qualifying round doesn’t see anyone eliminated, it definitely sets the scene for Race Day.
With Dolderer (DE) down in eighth, he will be licking his wounds as he considers what he did wrong and how he can better it. The 2016 championship is his to lose.
Meanwhile, Lamb will be feeling happy with his result. This year is his last season on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship circuit so he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. “We’ll just have to get a good sleep and try to be faster than everyone else again tomorrow,” he said.
And Martin Sonka will also have a spring in his step after clocking up the third fastest lap of the day. Sonka is fresh from winning the FAI World Aerobatic Freestyle Championship last weekend – perhaps a reason for his added bounce this weekend.
The Race Day action is broadcast live online throughout Sunday at www.redbullairrace.com