2018 Red Bull Air Race World Cham­pion

Pilot - - NOTES -

Czech racer Mar­tin Sonka has won the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Cham­pi­onship at the race in Fort Worth, Texas, held on 17-18 Novem­ber. Sonka was one of the favourites to win, but in the fi­nal round the points spread meant any one of three pi­lots could take the ti­tle. The pres­sure could not have been higher for the Czech pi­lot, who was last to fly and had to win the race to win the over­all Cham­pi­onship.

“This race was in­cred­i­ble. It couldn’t end up bet­ter than this,” he said af­ter­wards. “It was a beau­ti­ful race with ev­ery­thing in it.”

Con­tender Michael Gou­lian (USA) was knocked out early in the day, so it came down to a bat­tle be­tween Matt Hall (Aus) and Sonka in the last race of the day. Al­though Hall flew a per­fect round and scored a fast track time of 53.100 sec­onds, Sonka won the ti­tle by fin­ish­ing just 0.204 sec­onds faster than Hall.

Sonka (40) is a for­mer Czech Air Force fighter pi­lot with a strong back­ground in aer­o­bat­ics, par­tic­u­larly Freestyle Aer­o­bat­ics. He learnt to fly as a teenager and has been fly­ing the Red Bull Air Race for five sea­sons, and placed sec­ond in 2017.

Mar­tin Sonka of the Czech Repub­lic cel­e­brates dur­ing the World Cham­pi­onship Award Cer­e­mony

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