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Red Bull Air Race: Hannes Arch shines in qualifying

Putrajaya (Malaysia): A scorching lap-time of 01:15.144 in the second qualifying heat handed Hannes Arch the first spot in the Malaysia leg of the Red Bull Air Race at Putrajaya Lake on Saturday.

Hannes Arch
Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch. Pic/Red Bull Air Race.

Arch’s top-place finish among 12 competitors means he will go head-to-head against the slowest pilot in Saturday’s race — Martin Sonka — in the Top 12 competition today.

Leading the pack
Arch, who had won the last race in Rovinj, is currently on top of the 2014 pilots’ championship standings with 21 points along with Paul Bonhomme, who was the fourth fastest in qualifying with a timing of 01:16.586 on Saturday.

Pete McLeod (01:15.867) and Matt Hall (01:16.144) were placed second and third respectively. Despite the psychological advantage that Arch gained by ending the qualifying laps more than a second over Bonhomme, he said he did not want to get complacent for Sunday’s race.

High on confidence
“I’m confident of doing well in tomorrow’s race but I also know that you can make mistakes. So, I want to focus on my own performance and continue to do what I did today. The most important thing for me is to win the race,” he said.

How the Race works...

. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is a series of eight air races held around the world where pilots navigate an aerial racetrack featuring air-filled pylons in the fastest possible time.

. A race itself consists of the following sessions: Qualifying, Top 12, Super 8 and Final 4. In all the sessions, only one pilot races on the track at a time.

. The Top 12 session is completed in heats, with the fastest pilot in qualifying going up against the slowest, the second fastest going up against the second slowest.

. The six winners plus the two fastest losers move forward to the Super 8 race. The fastest four pilots in this race then qualify for the Final 4.

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