Martin Šonka ends Red Bull Air Race season in second

The Czech pilot stalled in the final match in Indianapolis, losing several seconds

Czech pilot Martin Šonka ended the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season in second place, after finishing fourth in the final race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana on Oct. 15. It was the eighth race in a season that began in Abu Dhabi in February.

Japanese pilot Yoshihide Muroya won the race and scored enough points to overcome the four-point lead that Šonka had going into the race. Muroya had a total of 74 points for the season, including 15 from the Indianapolis win. Šonka had 70 points, with seven from the final race.

“I am very proud of my team and all the hard work they've done throughout the season, but of course it is a little disappointing for us,” Šonka said.

Muroya flew first in the round of the final four and had a perfect run, beating the track record by more than a second. His time was 1:03.026.

Šonka flew last of the final four, after German pilot Matthias Dolderer and Spanish pilot Juan Velarde.

Dolderer was behind in every split and finished at 1:05.546, or 2.520 seconds behind Muroya. Velarde was even slower at 1:05.829.

Šonka had an even worse run. He stalled in the vertical turning maneuver and lost more than four seconds, finishing fourth with a time of 1:07.280.

Muroya is the first Red Bull Air Race World Champion from Asia, and with four wins this season he'll be a favorite next season.

Czech pilot Petr Kopfstein finished the season in fifth place with 43 points for the season. He was also fifth at the race in Indianapolis, failing to make it to the final four from among the 14 pilots who started on Oct. 14.

Šonka had a bad start in Indianapolis. In the initial round of 14, he competed against Muroya, who collected a penalty at gate four, adding two seconds to his time for 1:06.134. Šonka was looking certain to go through but he clipped a pylon at gate 16 and had to settle for second place in his heat, but he managed to claim the fastest loser spot with a time of 1:07.866 and continue into the round of eight.

Šonka was able to put his bad run behind him in his round of 8 flight and set a time of 1:04.995. He flew against Australian pilot Matt Hall, who hit a pylon at gate 2 and then got another penalty for incorrect level flying.

For more visit also:
Red Bull Air Race
Martin Šonka
Petr Kopfstein

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