Lamb atop training in Las Vegas ahead of Qualifying

Posted on: 17th Oct 2015

LAS VEGAS (USA) – Britain’s Nigel Lamb topped the time sheets in both Red Bull Air Race World Championship training sessions on Friday in Las Vegas ahead of the 2015 season finale, where Britain's Paul Bonhomme and Australia's Matt Hall will be battling it out for the title. Lamb, the 2014 world champion, thrived in the choppy winds that swept the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and established himself as the man to beat for Saturday’s Qualifying ahead of the eighth and final race of the season in the world's fastest motorsport series on Sunday.


Hall, who is in second place overall in the world championship behind Britain’s Paul Bonhomme, was second fastest in the important afternoon session while Bonhomme was back in fourth place.  In the morning session it was the other way around with Bonhomme ahead in fifth and Hall right behind in sixth. 


Bonhomme leads the championship with 67 points and can clinch the title with a fifth place or better, while Hall is the only other pilot in the field of 14 with a chance to catch him, in second place with 59 points and 12 points up for grabs on Sunday.


“It’s only training but it’s a better place to be than struggling in training,” said Lamb, who had a difficult year but is optimistic about his chances to win on Sunday after making adjustments to his elevator -- the flight-control surface at the rear of the airplane that controls the angle of attack.


“I was a bit disappointed not to be a bit quicker. If I’m not doing well in the smooth conditions then I prefer the choppy conditions. I’m very pleased. That was the first really good training day I’ve had all season. Hopefully I can keep that going for the next few days.”


Bonhomme pronounced himself pleased with his net training times on the high-speed, low-altitude race track in Las Vegas and said he got some penalties after experimenting on parts of the track on the western end.


“We’ve yet to put it all together but we’re very happy,” he said. “If you look at our net times they’re very good. We haven't hit a pylon yet. I’m very pleased to get through the track with 22-knot wind and not hit a pylon. That’s good, that’s good discipline.”


Hall, who needs a win or second place to have any chance of beating Bonhomme, said he flew aggressively in training, trying to find the best-possible lines. He will also be hoping one of the other 12 pilots in the race will be able to knock Bonhomme out in the Round of 14 or Round of Eight. 


"I tried some aggressive lines today because I've got to find the fast line on Sunday instead of the error-free line," said Hall. "I'm happy with the line I found on those last couple of training runs. We had the fastest net time of the day with a penalty that I can fix."



RESULTS MASTER TRAINING 1, LAS VEGAS: 1. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 51.809 seconds, 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 52.489, 3. Michael Goulian (USA)53.095, 4. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 53.341, 5. Paul Bonhomme (GBR) 53.413, 6. Matt Hall (AUS) 55.143, 7. Martin Sonka (CZE) 55.260, 8. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 56.418, 9. Pete McLeod (CAN) 56.649, 10. Hannes Arch (AUT) 58.770, 11. François Le Vot (FRA) 58.872, 12. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 59.962, 13. Juan Velarde (ESP) 1:01.634, 14. Peter Besenyei (HUN) 1:04.726

RESULTS MASTER TRAINING 2, LAS VEGAS: 1. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 50.592 seconds, 2. Matt Hall (AUS) 50.685, 3. Hannes Arch (AUT) 50.827, 4. Paul Bonhomme (GBR) 51.099, 5. Martin Sonka (CZE) 51.288, 6. Michael Goulian (USA) 51.881, 7. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 51.907, 8. Juan Velarde (ESP) 52.154, 9. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 52.700, 10. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 53.645, 11. Peter Besenyei (HUN) 54.160, 12. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 54.232, 13. Pete McLeod (CAN) 55.676, 14. François Le Vot (FRA) 59.714