Wins First Point Of 2010 In Red Bull Air Race Abu Dhabi Qualifying
Paul Bonhomme of
Arch, the 2008 world champion, was delighted to get back on top after Bonhomme narrowly beat him for the 2009 title at the end of last season. On Friday Arch, the Team Abu Dhabi pilot, delighted the Qualifying Day crowd of 45,000 with a superb time of 1:12.78 on the 5.6km long track, 1.55 seconds ahead of Lamb.
Bonhomme got third on the strength of his first Qualifying time of 1:14.45, which left him 1.67 behind Arch. After watching Bonhomme slice open the final gate in Q2 from a TV monitor in his hangar, Arch smiled and exchanged high fives with his teammates back in the hangar.
“The secret to winning the point today is that all the effort we put
into the plane came together,” said Arch. “The job they did has made a
really fast airplane. The problem before was me. I was nervous in the
days before Qualifying and I felt the pressure from Paul as he was
flying really fast and never gave me any margin. I really had to give
everything and try to stay calm.”
Arch had posted the fastest times in two of the four training sessions
going into Qualifying while
Bonhomme had beaten him in the other two sessions, setting the stage for
another memorable showdown over the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf
in front of
Bonhomme, flying last, was 0.12 seconds ahead of Arch at the midway
point in the final Qualifying run but lost his lead on the second lap.
He would still have have ended up a close second. But instead the
British ace slashed open the final Air Gate, picking up a careless
six-second penalty. It was a day to forget for the normally error-free
Bonhomme, who had also picked up a 2-second penalty for incorrect wing
level flying through an Air Gate near the very end of his first
Qualifying run an hour earlier.
expecting it,” Bonhomme said of the pylon hit. “About a hundred yards
before the Air Gate I realised what was going to happen. I was just
trying to save time and went straight for it.”
Lamb, who has
introduced striking new winglets that curl up at the end of his wings,
was a sensational second on a hot day on the track alongside
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