The weather was forecasted to be rainy on day two in Spielberg, but the gloomy outlook never materialized. Instead, the pilots were greeted with a pleasant day of training back at the Red Bull Ring! Paul Bonhomme of Great Britain set the pace with a fast lap of 56.171 seconds. However, Kirby was close behind with his fastest time at 57.392 seconds. Placing fifth during training two and only 1.221 seconds behind the leading time, Kirby is within reach of the front-runners and will be looking to find a little more speed for the Qualifying round tomorrow morning!
Kirby and Jason arrived in Salzburg, Austria, a few days early to work on upcoming modifications. While they won’t be seen during the race in Spielberg, the team is working hard in conjunction with Microsoft and Kansas University to debut the new changes at Kirby’s home race in Ft. Worth, Texas. Due to the early arrival, Kirby was also able to take some time to tour of the countryside with local pilot Hannes Arch in his helicopter.
“I’ve always thought it would be neat to fly a helicopter, so it was good fun to take a ride with Hannes!”
The team then moved to Spielberg for the first official day of the race. The weather was forecasted to be quite rainy for day one, so they weren’t sure if it would be possible to ferry the race plane into the Red Bull Ring. Luckily, though, the weather cleared enough mid-morning and Kirby was able to bring it in! The remainder of the day was spent setting up the hangar and preparing the plane for training rounds tomorrow!
It was another beautiful day in Ascot, perfect for Race Day! Kirby spent his morning preparing for the Round of 14 against England’s local, Nigel Lamb. It was looking good for Kirby after Lamb received a 2-second penalty for flying too high through a gate five. With a clean run, Kirby would progress forward. The team watched anxiously as his sector times remained green, but Kirby finished just .543 seconds behind Lamb after he, too, received a 2-second penalty for flying too high through gate 11.
Kirby and the team have had a tough run this season, but are still moving forward. Talk of plans for airplane modifications have been circling for a while now, and the team is excited to share that those plans have progressed! Although there is still need for further testing, they are hopeful to debut new winglets in Spielberg, Austria, September 5th and 6th.
For a full list of race day results, see below:
- 1. Paul Bonhomme
- 2. Matt Hall
- 3. Yoshihide Muroya
- 4. Nicolas Ivanoff
- 5. Nigel Lamb
- 6. Peter Besenyei
- 7. Martin Sonka
- 8. Hannes Arch
- 9. Michael Goulian
- 10. Matthias Dolderer
- 11. Juan Velarde
- 12. Kirby Chambliss
- 13. Pete Mcleod
- 14. Francois Le Vot
The team awoke to blue and sunny skies, a perfect setting for qualifying day. Not only was it qualifying day, though; it was also the first time pilots were able to race through the track. Each pilot was allotted just three minutes, making every turn and movement critical!
As expected, track times were a bit slower during training as the pilots familiarized themselves with the track. Kirby’s fastest training run was 1:09:376. He was able to shave off time in the qualifying round, placing 7th overall with a time of 1:08:22. He will fly head-to-head with local pilot Nigel Lamb, who placed 8th with a time of 1:08:22.
See below the full list of head-to-head pairings for Race Day’s Round of 14:
Heat 1: Matthias Dolderer v. Yoshihide Muroya
Heat 2: Francois Le Vot v. Peter Besenyei
Heat 3: Michael Goulian v. Nicolas Ivanoff
Heat 4: Juan Velarde v. Martin Sonka
Heat 5: Nigel Lamb v. Kirby Chambliss
Heat 6: Pete McLeod v. Matt Hall
Heat 7: Hannes Arch v. Paul Bonhomme
As forecasted, Day Two was another day of rain, fog, and little flying. There was a slight break in weather during the early afternoon that allowed pilots to ferry the planes to Ascot. However, the rain came back and proved it was there to stay just as the first pilot began to train; all flying was cancelled.
It wasn’t a day wasted, though. Jason and Rick focused on the team’s newest project – winglets! Although they will not be making their debut in Ascot, the team is expecting them to be ready for Austria. The team also enjoyed spending time with a special visitor! Friend and fellow aerobatic pilot, Melissa Pemberton, stopped by for the afternoon to take a peek behind the scenes. It was great to catch up!
After two days of no practice, all teams are hoping for some better weather moving forward to tomorrow. Ticket holders can expect only one round of training before the Qualifying Round!