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.