Šonka ready to defend lead in Germany

The Czech pilot is in first place in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Czech pilot Martin Šonka is eagerly anticipating the upcoming Red Bull Air Race World Championship event at Lausitz, Germany, on Sept. 16 and 17. “I look forward to a home race,” he said. Lausitz is an hour's drive from the Czech border, and many of his fans will make the journey. Czech fans collectively have booked up an entire viewing stand.

Šonka is currently in first place in the competition after six of eight races, and with a good score in the penultimate race he will be in position to win the season. “I'm look forward to the people, I'm looking forward to the race, but at the same time, I suppose there will be a great deal of pressure but I won't let it stand in my way.” Šonka said.

It's been two weeks since his victory at Porto, his second win of the season. He has a four-point lead at the head of the championship, which has boosted his self confidence going in to the next race. “The track is much more technical than it was in Porto, which suits me,” he said

He sees his main rival as Canadian pilot Pete McLeod, who is in second place. “Pete will fight tooth and nail, but I still have a good position."

The gap between the previous race in Porto and the next one was unusually short. His team has been tuning up his plane, and he has been practicing. “I did what I wanted to do … hopefully it will bear fruit in Germany,” he said.

Šonka remains a favorite going into the race. He promises to come and see his fans at the Czech stand. “One part of the viewing platform was sold only to Czech fans, and it is sold out. I will definitely stop there, and I will try to enjoy the weekend as much as possible. It is also necessary to concentrate on the race so I will not to be able to sit and watch other competitors with the people. When it comes to me, I must say, 'I have to fly,'” Šonka said.

After the race in Lausitz, the season for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship ends at Indianapolis, Indiana, on Oct. 14–15.

Red Bull Air Race standings (after 6 of 8 races)
1. Martin Šonka (CR) 54 points
2. Pete McLeod (CAN) 50
3. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 47
4. Yoshihide Muroya (JAP) 44
5. Petr Kopfstein (CR) 34

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