ASCOT (United Kingdom) — Britain’s Paul Bonhomme and Nigel Lamb won first and second place at the Red Bull Air Race at the Ascot Racecourse on Sunday, Aug. 18.
It was the 15th career victory for Bonhomme and also his second win of the season, helping him cut the world championship lead of Hannes Arch from 13 to just two points. There are three races left in the eight-stop season.
Bonhomme now has 41 world championship points to Arch’s 43. He won the Ascot race with its first-ever standing start despite difficult and changing English winds that gusted up to 30 knots and caused many pilots problems, according to race officials.
Lamb, celebrating his 58th birthday, was a close second and got his third straight podium, which was good enough for 10 points, which also put him into the thick of the championship battle with 35 points overall.
“I think this has to be the greatest escape yet – it’s a great win,” said Bonhomme, who had a dismal performance in Qualifying on Saturday and was nearly eliminated in the first round of 12 on Sunday. “The British crowd just love aviation. I couldn’t have wished for a better result.”
It was a bitter day for Arch, who saw his 13-point lead over Bonhomme melt away when he was knocked out in the Super 8 round due to penalties on the windy course, but also for Pete McLeod. The Canadian had dominated Qualifying on Saturday to win pole position but was knocked out in the first round on Sunday and ended up 10th.
Results: 1. Paul Bonhomme (GBR), Nigel Lamb (GBR), 3. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 4. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 5. Matt Hall (AUS), 6. Yoshihide Muroya, (JPN), 7. Peter Besenyei (HUN), 8. Hannes Arch (AUT), 9. Martin Sonka (CZE), 10. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 11. Pete McLeod (CAN), 12. Michael Goulian (USA).
World Championship: 1. Arch 43, 2. Bonhomme 41, 3. Lamb 35, 4. Hall 25, 5. McLeod 18, 6. Ivanoff 15, 7. Muroya 10, 8. Dolderer 9, 9. Sonka 8, 10. Besenyei, 6, 11. Chambliss 5, 12. Goulian 0.
For more information: RedBullAirRace.com