With a podium in his pocket, France’s Brageot races in Russia this weekend

Red Bull Air Race 2018 CalendarFresh from his career-first race podium in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Mika Brageot has arrived in Russia’s sporting capital of Kazan to kick off the second half of the calendar on 25-26August. Here, in his own words, the French pilot of #11RACING provides a mid-season update.

 

Mika, congratulations. Not only did you earn your first race podium in Budapest on 24 June, but you jumped up to fourth place in the overall standings. You also turned 31 at the end of July, and your #11RACING team has been joined by an additional partner, the private jet company Jetfly. It’s been a busy summer!

 

MB: Yes, there’s a lot to be happy about. Ever since we began in the World Championship last year, we’ve been working very hard to make progress, and I’m proud of what the team has achieved. We have welcomed Jetfly to be part of our campaign alongside Breitling and AGC as my personal sponsors, it’s great to have the support from another partner with such a huge passion for aviation.

Mikael Brageot of France poses for a photograph with his team at the fifth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Kazan, Russia on August 24, 2018.

Four races down, four to go. How does the result in Budapest affect your mindset? Does it add pressure because you’re not “flying under the radar” anymore?

MB: The podium in Budapest gives us greater confidence going into this second half of the season. If anything, it takes the pressure off – we’ve proved we are capable and earned our place in the Championship, so whatever happens next, we’ve already had a great season.

 

It’s been over two months since the race in Hungary. Does that affect your momentum? 

 

MB: It’s true that we’re coming into this race after a long summer break. It would have been good to keep the momentum, but it does mean we’ve had time to make some modifications to the raceplane, so we’re feeling confident and will push again to reach the Final 4.

Can you talk a little more about that?

 

MB: We can’t go into too much detail, of course, but because we’ve had the time for lots of test flights with the new modifications, our tactician Max [Lamb] should have more data to work with at the races, and we also hope to see the plane performing consistently through the track every time. There are plenty more additions we’d like to make. We have a great development plan for the future – it’s just hard to find the time between races, as we need a long period to test any modification that we make to ensure I am comfortable in the cockpit, as well as to allow the time and ability to switch back to our original setup if necessary.

 

Last year was the first time that the Red Bull Air Race ever stopped in Russia, and of course this summer France has already had quite a bit of sporting success in Russia, which kicked off with a game right here in Kazan! What is your impression of this venue?

MB: We really enjoyed coming to Kazan last year. It’s different to any other race in so many ways, there are some incredible buildings that are very beautiful, the volunteers do a great job… really the whole city has a nice feel about it.

So what’s your strategy? 

 

MB: Our game plan stays the same. We must keep mentally focused and have a cool head to achieve our best, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also have fun – the team work well together, enjoying the races while keeping a professional but relaxed atmosphere in the hangar. We don’t waste our time looking to others. Flying our best every time is the goal, and the results will speak for themselves. It will pay off for sure!

 

Mika Brageot and #11RACING will take off in Kazan on 25-26 August 2018. For tickets and all the World Championship updates: www.redbullairrace.com.

 

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