ROVINJ, Croatia — Austria’s Hannes Arch won the Red Bull Air Race in Rovinj for the second year in a row in the most competitive race in the history of the high-speed, low-altitude sport.
Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic got a career-best second place in the race, where pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h, while Matt Hall of Australia got his third straight podium with third place on the difficult, windswept racecourse set up just off the shorelines of Rovinj.
“It’s special,” said Arch, clearly moved by the support from the Austrian supporters and his family as well as his recovery from a dismal 11th place two weeks ago in Chiba, Japan. “We started slowly here this week in training but I realized my lines were good and I tried to focus on my game and not anyone else. I’m really happy to win in Croatia in front of so many fans.”
Britain’s Paul Bonhomme, who won Qualifying but finished in eighth and Australia’s Matt Hall, who was third in Rovinj, are on top of the championship with 25 points each while Arch jumped from seventh place overall to third on 17 points after getting 12 for the win in Croatia.
Earlier on Sunday, Daniel Ryfa of Sweden won the season’s third race in the Challenger Cup series, which is designed to give the next generation of pilots the chance to develop their low-altitude flying skills under racing conditions. Mikael Brageot of France took second and Cristian Bolton of Chile was third.