2018 Red Bull Air Race World Champion
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