Kirby is having a good time practicing in the Arizona Desert near the Flying Crown Ranch! Photo courtesy of Kirby’s GoPro
Rovinj, Croatia, was a tough break for Kirby! He faced fellow U.S. competitor Michael Goulian in Heat 5 of the Round of 14. Goulian flew first leaving the time to beat at 55.601 seconds. Kirby started fast and clean, which looked promising as he overtook Goulian in the first few gates. Unfortunately, he received two two-second penalties for flying too high in gates five and seven. Kirby’s final time was 58.886 seconds, bringing his competition to an end.
Winners of the Super Eight who moved on to the Final Four were Martin Sonka of Czech Republic, Hannes Arch of Austria, Mike Goulian of U.S.A., and Matt Hall of Australia.
Hannes Arch took first place for his second time in a row at the Red Bull Air Race Rovinj with a time of 54.012 seconds. Martin Sonka took a close second with a time of 54.083 seconds, followed by Matt Hall in third with a time of 54.160 seconds. Michael Goulian did not finish due to an over-G penalty.
Kirby placement in Rovinj was 11th overall. The team holds high hopes for Red Bull Air Race Budapest on July 5, 2015, hoping to make the podium for the first time this season!
The windy weather in Rovinj proved to add difficulty during the qualifying rounds, increasing the number of pylon hits and total track times by all. Kirby’s net time during flight one was actually faster than his second at 55.818 seconds, but a 2 second penalty for an incorrect level left a time of 57.818 seconds. Finishing 7th, he moves forward to the round of fourteen with a clean time of 56.098 seconds and will face fellow U.S. pilot Michael Goulian. Britain’s pilot Paul Bonhomme still holds first place with qualifying time of 54.226 seconds.
Day four was meant for training! As the pilots became more familiar with the course, overall track times continued to decrease. During training one on day three, Kirby’s fastest time was 58.710 seconds. By the end of day four, he was able to shave off 4.519 seconds, with a fastest time of 54.191 seconds! Kirby took the evening to rest and prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying round, working closely with Michael on course analysis.
Kirby’s takeoff from his home at the Flying Crown Ranch!