Brageot Qualifies 5th in Abu Dhabi, the First Race of the 2019 Season

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Flying the bright and distinctive colours of eyetime, Mika Brageot and his MXS have proved to be a competitive man & machine combination during practice flights this week at the season opener in Abu Dhabi topping off with a 5thplace in Qualifying today.

Plenty of the pilots have struggled with the new over-G rule, where if they hit 11G they collect a one second penalty, Mika included. However he flew a clean first run leaving him just 0.548 off Muroya who set a session-winning time of 53.024s.

With the new scoring system, where the top three receive points in Qualifying, there was a lot more at stake for the pilots and it showed as the times kept tumbling throughout the session. The pilot that came closest to Muroya was Pete McLeod – the 2017 DHL Fastest Lap winner – he was just 0.216s behind his Japanese rival and collected two points, which were later rescinded following a technical inspection. Based on the fact that one magneto was out of the limit on the raceplane of Pete McLeod, the Race Committee made the decision not to award the Qualifying points that would normally be awarded in accordance with this placement. It was apparent that the issue was not intentional and so the ranking has been maintained.

Michael Goulian was third and collected one point, while World Champion Martin Sonka was fourth, just out of the points

Juan Velarde finished just behind Mika in 6th. Ben Murphy was in seventh and will face off against Matt Hall in the Round of 14, who finished just a little bit behind him. Hall was 0.768s behind the leader, making him the eighth and final pilot to finish within a second of the leader.

Matthias Dolderer in 10th and Kirby Chambliss in 13th both picked up a one second penalty due to the new over-G rule. Brageot will face Dolderer in the first head to head of the day.. He comments;

“It’s good to be competitive even if it’s just Quali, but it makes a big difference in the minds of the team. From the racing perspective, we’re fifth which is good, but under our expectation as we wanted a top three, but it’s not a big problem. We’re going to keep it up, find a way to increase the performance in the Round of 14 and try to take a good result and a good ranking for the Round of 8.”

Mikael Brageot of France performs during qualifying day at the first round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 8, 2019.

The Master Class pilots begin their first race of the 2019 season with the Round of 14, which starts at 14:00 local time (10:00UTC) and you can watch it live HERE. If you tune in at 12:45, you’ll be able to watch the Challenger Class race as well.

ABU DHABI 2019 MASTER CLASS QUALIFYING RESULTS

 

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