Sonka soars to victory in opening Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi
The 10th season of the official World Championship started with its anniversary 75th race
Martin Šonka won his first and his country's first Red Bull Air Race at the season opener in Abu Dhabi (see video below). The Czech endured a hit and miss 2016, which included three DQ’s, but he took an early lead in the 2017 season finishing 1.027 seconds ahead of Juan Velarde.
The Spaniard achieved his first podium finish in the process as he pipped Canadian Pete McLeod by 1.493 seconds. It was a memorable start to the 75th anniversary Red Bull Air Race and Sonka was understandably overjoyed at the win.
"It's a surreal feeling, a dream come true,” said Šonka.
“All the flights today I managed to fly exactly according to plan, cleanly, without unnecessary mistakes. The plane worked great and everything just came together perfectly.”
“I am very happy for the team and for the fans, who have kept their fingers crossed. It is hard now to describe exactly what is going on in me, especially after last season.”
“We’ve taken a step in the right direction; we’ve managed to fly consistently and mostly error-free. We know that it is only the beginning of the season but it's a dream start to it” Šonka added.
McLeod was first up fly and set the pace for the Final 4. He flew at a time of 54.632s and while he was visibly happy he probably knew it wasn’t enough for first place. Up next was Sonka and his excellent time of 53.139 put him in first with world champion Matthias Dolderer set to fly next.
Dolderer’s time of 53.227 meant he was 0.088 seconds slower than Šonka, which would've been enough for him to finish second, but an error in Gate 14 for incorrect flying level gave him a two second penalty and pushed him down the standings. Velarde was last up knowing exactly what time was needed to reach the podium and his superb flight wasn’t enough to beat deserved winner Šonka but enough to make history for the Spaniard.
Next to come for Šonka is a trip to the USA as the Red Bull Air Race continues in San Diego on April 15-16. You can read a full preview for the Red Bull Air Race here on Prague TV.
Red Bull Air Race www.redbullairrace.com
Martin Šonka www.martin-sonka.cz
Video on YouTube
Kotlářka Praha Baseball starts with two wins at home ground Marketa by Trevor Fine - Prague.TV
Kotlářka Praha beats Olympia Blansko 4:0 & 7:4
City plans to clean up swimming areas by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague.eu)
The water quality in natural ponds is to be monitored and improved
J&T Banka Prague Open less than a month away by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (J&T Banka Prague Open FB)
Big stars are expected for the women's tennis tournament in Stromovka
Czech Baseball season starting by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
Eagles play the Nuclears in Krč on March 31 and Kotlářka Praha facing Tempo Titans Praha on April 1
Ralf Rangnick - The Man Behind German Newcomers RB Leipzig by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: Red Bull Content Pool)
Prague.TV interview with RB Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick
Prague to invest in new bike routes by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: fotolia)
An app is also intended to make using bike paths easier and safer
American football season starts in Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague Black Panthers FB)
The 24th season will see six teams compete in 13 regular rounds
Softball is returning to Prague in the aid of charity by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV
The time has almost arrived when softball returns to Prague for people to have fun and help an NGO raise money for local education
Czech Extraliga playoffs crank up the heat on the ice by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: HC Sparta Praha FB)
An exciting period of Czech sport is approaching as the ice hockey Extraliga playoffs return
Jakub Sladek – European baseball star by Ross Kennerley - Prague.TV (Foto: baseball.cz)
Prague.TV interview with Kotlářka Praha star player Jakub Sladek
Your cheapest calls home!
Have fun. Help. Volunteer overseas - Let us organize your...
Personal Assistant who SAVES YOUR TIME and NERVES. Just ask...
Feel the rhythm and party to the biggest hits of the 80’s!
HUGO Bike Prague & Segwaytrip
Outdoor Adventure Minigolf
Indoor Playground in Prague 5, Zlicin
Kotlářka Praha - American Baseball