Wanna bet?

Posted on: 30th Nov -0001

Wanna bet? Las Vegas oddsmakers pick Lamb as favourite


Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have been busy getting ready for the first-ever Red Bull Air Race in America's gambling capital and made Britain’s Nigel Lamb the 2-1 favorite to win Sunday’s penultimate race of the season with Austria’s Hannes Arch close behind at 5-2 while Britain’s Paul Bonhomme and France’s Nicolas Ivanoff are not far back at 9-2 odds.


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (USA) - All four pilots have won at least one of the six races so far this season with Lamb the most consistent pilot at the moment with four straight podiums including one win and three straight second places heading into Sunday's race in America's gaming capital. Anyone brave enough to bet on Michael Goulian, who is in 12th place, could hit the jackpot as the American oddsmakers have taken no pity on their compatriot and made him the longshot with 35-1 odds.


“I hope they did their homework in making those odds,” said Lamb, who sounded honored to be selected as the pre-race favorite in Las Vegas. “I hadn’t seen the odds sheet but I’ve been told about it. I’m going to try to take absolutely no notice of anything on there. Things can change. It’ll be interesting to see if the odds change after the first few training sessions. You have to wonder if the oddsmakers know that everyone is experimenting with different things in the training sessions.”


Even though Lamb has had a string of strong results following his first-ever career victory in Malaysia in the third stop of the season, he pointed out that the track in Las Vegas was different and the race was the first of the season in altitude after the first six were at or near sea level. “This is anyone’s race as far as I can tell,” he said. “It’s all a matter of how the dice fall on a track like this. We’re in a gambling city. We’ve got to take some risks in the track and make some gambles while racing.


Arch, who has struggled in the last two races, said he didn’t care what the oddsmakers think of his chances. “The game out here is not Vegas. The game here is in the race track,” he said.


Bonhomme, who leads both Lamb and Arch in the World Championship by just one point going into the final two races of the season, said he was relieved that he was not the pre-race favorite because of the accompanying pressure. Sounding supremely confident coming into the race with some secretive modifications that his team hopes will shave about a second off his lap times, Bonhomme nevertheless said he would not be betting on himself in Las Vegas.


“If I were asked to do the odds I’d probably do something just like that,” he said, looking at the odds sheet. “You don’t want to be the favorite, do you? I wouldn’t bet on me at 9-2 because I’m not a gambling man. I’d want better odds than that,” he added with a laugh. “But then again 9-2 isn’t bad, is it?”


Pictures: Joerg Mitter, Predrag Vuckovic, Andreas Langreiter, Balazs Gardi, Christian Pondella