Red Bull Air Race Lamb Soars Atop Perth Qualifying Time Sheets <


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Red Bull Air Race Lamb Soars Atop Perth Qualifying Time Sheets

Shane Nolan

April 16, 2010- Britain’s Nigel Lamb was atop the time sheets in the fourth and final training session on Friday  ahead of the Qualifying on Saturday for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Perth, pushing compatriot Paul Bonhomme into second under bright blue Western Australian skies while Canada’s Pete McLeod took a career-best third. Australia’s Matt Hall struggled in the two early sessions on Friday but managed to put in one of the fastest times of the day in a post-training timed session. 

Team Breitling’s Lamb, flying with his revolutionary winglet wingtips, said he was pleased with his performance on the track over Perth’s Swan River. Lamb, who also took second place here in 2008, was flying consistently all day on Friday and was a solid third in the morning session. His time of 1:27.55 was 1.38 ahead of Bonhomme and 2.46 in front of McLeod. 

“It's good. It's very confidence-boosting,” said Lamb, who is having the best run of his career with back-to-back second places in the last two races in Abu Dhabi last month and in Barcelona last year. “I think I've got the line. But you do have to remember that this is only training 4. It's really not that important.

"It's only important if the weather for the weekend looks really dodgy because if things go bad with the weather at the weekend, then the standing of the last training becomes very important."

Bonhomme, the defending champion who won the 2008 race in Perth, said he was disappointed with second place and his time, especially as other top favourites like Nicolas Ivanoff of France and Hannes Arch of Austria had error-filled runs in the afternoon session after posting brilliant times in the morning. 

“Actually no,” Bonhomme said when asked if he were feeling good with second place in T4. “That's not to my mind a convincing second. Our net times are too slow at the moment. But I'll look at some data, some engine data and some videos and see where we can catch up the guys.” Bonhomme added he was duly impressed with McLeod, a rookie who struggled at the end of the pack last year.


“A couple of things caught my eye. Pete McLeod put in a storming run and had he not got a 2-second penalty he'd have beaten us with his net time. So that was impressive. And I don't know what Nicolas and Hannes for lunch. This morning they were flying superbly well. And then this afternoon they tried, between the two of them, to get every penalty and gate on the track.” 

Arch was first in the morning session and Ivanoff second - seconds ahead of Lamb and Bonhomme. But Arch got 20 penalty seconds and Ivanoff 10 penalty seconds in T4 to end up 11th and 8th, respectively. 

Australia’s Matt Hall had a day of disappointment, taking seventh in the morning session and getting a disqualification in the second five-minute training session in the afternoon. But he flew well in the “compensation training” session after T4, in which all but the fastest four pilots from the previous race get extra track time. Hall posted a time of 1:31.37, just 0.16 behind the session’s leader Arch. 

Qualifying gets underway tomorrow with the first session starting at 12:30 local time followed by the second session at 13:30.

(Other related story Red Bull Air Race Plane Crash In Perth Pilot Adilson Kindlemann OK)
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