Austria’s Hannes Arch claimed second place in the third race of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2009 in Windsor, Canada. Britain’s Paul Bonhomme finally put an end to his series of second place finishes by taking the win on the Detroit River course, with the American Kirby Chambliss completing the podium in third. Reigning world champion Arch missed out on victory after a borderline decision by the race stewards.
WINDSOR (CAN). The 215,000 fans lining the banks of Windsor’s Detroit River were treated to a feast of Air Race action as the event moved into the Final Four stage. Arch threw down the gauntlet to his rivals with a time of 1:07.31, only to be given a two-second penalty for Incorrect Level – much to the surprise of many onlookers.
“The conditions were very windy at times and the course itself was also really difficult. I don’t want to go into the whole question of the time penalty; that’s the stewards’ decision and I will respect it. I know it must have been very close indeed, but I trust the judges. It looks like this season is going to be another nail-biter, but I’ve got the nerves to hold on when it comes to the crunch,” commented Arch, visibly satisfied with second place at the last overseas race of the season to maintain his current overall lead in the Championship.
Winner Bonhomme posted a time of 1:08.16 as he crossed the line, meaning that Arch would have finished 45 hundredths ahead of the Briton had it not been for the time penalty. American pilot Kirby Chambliss was also hit with a two-second penalty on his run as he claimed third spot with a 1:10.19. France’s Nicolas Ivanoff, second behind Arch in the overall standings going into the race, had a day to forget as he was eliminated early in the event, dropping valuable world championship points in the process.
After three races Arch continues to lead the overall standings with 33 points, followed closely by Bonhomme on 32 points and Nicolas Ivanoff on 24 points. The next race takes place on 19 August in Budapest (HUN).
The 15 pilots fly the single-propeller planes with precision, reaching speeds of up to 370 kilometres per hour and enduring forces of up to 12G as they navigate through the turn-filled courses just metres above the surface.