Brageot of France races at legendary Indianapolis on 6-7 October 

In only his second season of Red Bull Air Race World Championship competition, French pilot Mika Brageot finds himself in the top five overall with only a pair of stops to go. Next up: the first US race this year, where Brageot will look to shake free of a tie with the defending titleholder at iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Brageot and his #11RACING team are flying high in a remarkably consistent 2018 campaign that has seen their first race podium in the World Championship, two advancements to the elite Final 4, and Round of 8 appearances in all but one of their races so far.

 

Less than three weeks ago, the young team delivered huge thrills in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, making a comeback from 11th place in Qualifying. During the final round on Race Day, the 31-year-old from Villeneuve-sur-Lot was up against the likes of the two pilots who currently lead the overall standings, Martin Šonka (CZE) and Matt Hall (AUS), as well as reigning World Champion Yoshi Muroya (JPN). Although Brageot’s three opponents each possessed five or more previous seasons of experience at the highest level of Air Racing as opposed to his single 2017 campaign, the Frenchman managed to fly cleanly under pressure to finish just 0.800s behind of the pace of eventual winner Šonka, for fourth place.

 

After shocking the field by finishing in the top 10 overall as a rookie last year, this season Brageot has been in the top five ever since he captured second place in Budapest at the midpoint of the racing calendar. His goal is to remain in those heady ranks right through November’s 2018 finale at Texas Motor Speedway, which happens to be the place where he captured his first-ever Red Bull Air Race victory as a member of the sport’s second competition category, the Challenger Class, in 2014.

 

Presently, Brageot is ranked fifth behind Muroya, but they are tied in the overall points at 34 each. Brageot says he enjoys flying through the famed “Brickyard” racetrack at Indianapolis, which features a difficult standing start and a rolling landscape of trees in addition to the towering 25-metre Air Gates. To overtake his Japanese rival, and stay ahead of sixth-place Kirby Chambliss, a former World Champion who will be racing at home, Brageot will need luck as well as skill on what he calls his “American adventure.”

 

“We are getting on top of some raceplane modifications we made after Budapest, and by Race Day in Indy we hope all will be working as we have planned,” he states. “But as always, we need everything to come together on the day – plane, team, pilot. We have been learning a lot over the last few races, which can only help us to become a more solid unit, and perform better with this added experience.”

 

Mika Brageot and #11RACING will fly at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway on 6-7 October 2018. For tickets and all the World Championship updates: www.redbullairrace.com.

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