FORT WORTH, Texas (USA) – Paul Bonhomme won his fourth Red Bull Air Race of the season on Sunday in Fort Worth with a sensational performance in the Texas heat but Australia’s Matt Hall stayed right on his heels in the championship battle with a solid second place finish.
Japan’s Yoshi Muroya got his second podium of the season with third place in the high-speed, low-altitude racing just above the tarmac of the Texas Motor Speedway with the pilots hitting speeds of up to 230 mph. It was a disappointing day for the Americans with Michael Goulian taking ninth and Kirby Chambliss eleventh.
Saving his best flying of the weekend for the moment when it counted most in the Final Four race, Bonhomme was invincible in the race track and said he was absolutely thrilled to get his 19th career victory in front of a big Texas crowd of more than 30,000 spectators at the famous NASCAR race track. The two-time world champion from Britain stopped the clock in 55.285 seconds with Hall trailing close behind in 56.052 seconds. Hall flew superbly to get second place and keep the championship race alive with his sixth podium in seven races this season.
Going into the final race of the season in Las Vegas on October 18, Bonhomme leads the championship with 67 points after getting 12 for the win in Fort Worth while Hall is still within striking range on 59 points.
“It was really hard work today and we put a lot of hard work into winning this,” said Bonhomme, who said he was trying not to pay attention to the championship standings as the pressure is building but rather focusing on winning the next race. “Let’s see what happens in Las Vegas.”
Hall, whose win in the last race in Spielberg, Austria turned the title race into a tense two-man battle, sounded confident he could still make up the eight-point gap and overtake Bonhomme. “We’ve been consistent all year so we’ll keep pushing him,” said Hall, who has been second in four races this season.
The battle for third place also heated up on Sunday with Martin Sonka, who got fourth place in Fort Worth, moved to 28 points and within two points of Hannes Arch of Austria (30). Nigel Lamb of Britain (20), Pete McLeod of Canada (19) and Matthias Dolderer of Germany (19) are all also in the chase for third place.
Results Fort Worth, Texas: 1. Paul Bonhomme (GBR), 2. Matt Hall (AUS), 3. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) , 4. Martin Sonka (CZE), 5. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 6. Nigel Lamb (GBR), 7. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 8. Pete McLeod (CAN), 9. Michael Goulian (USA), 10. Hannes Arch (AUT), 11. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 12. Peter Besenyei (HUN), 13. Juan Velarde (ESP), 14. Francois Le Vot (FRA)
World Championship Standings: 1. Bonhomme 67 points, 2. Hall 59, 3. Arch 30, 4. Sonka 28, 5. Lamb 20, 6. McLeod 19, 7. Dolderer 19, 8. Muroya 18, 9. Ivanoff 13, 10. Goulian 10, 11. Chamblis 9, 12. Besenyei 8, Velarde 0, Le Vot 0.