Rotterdam – July 21, 2008 — It was a good day to be British, especially if you were a pilot competing in the Red Bull Air Race in Rotterdam on Sunday. With his third win in four races this season, Brit Paul Bonhomme widened his lead over Austrian Hannes Arch in the World Series, while fellow countryman Steve Jones took third place and made his first visit to the podium this year. With the win Bonhomme has 35 points in the World Series standings, followed by Arch with 29. Bonhomme outlasted Arch with a time of 1:17.25 in the final after the Austrian could not finish his run because of a pylon hit. Arch was going all-out to beat Bonhomme but cut his line too close and hit an Air Gate on the first straight. He aborted his run after pylon material got caught briefly in his right wing.
Arch had performed well all weekend with the help of his new streamlined canopy and put in a fast time in the semi-finals to beat Jones before losing to Bonhomme once again in the final. Bonhomme had beaten him in the Abu Dhabi final as well.
“It is a good day out for the Brits,” said Bonhomme, who tracked Arch’s run from a holding pattern high above Rotterdam. “I watched Hannes draw a dead-straight line from Gate One to Gate Six and I thought if he gets away with that then I have got a big job on my hands. I am very pleased.”
Not surprisingly, Arch was disappointed with his finish. “I was just pushing too hard. You don’t win if you don’t push. It was just a little too much and I took too direct a line.”
American challengers Mike Mangold and Kirby Chambliss, who had placed second and third, respectively, in the qualifying runs a day earlier, both failed to make the podium. Chambliss took fourth overall in the race and Mangold fifth. However, Chambliss is in third place in the World Series standings with 27 points, and Mangold is fourth with 26 points.
The next race will be held in London on Aug. 2-3.
Source: EAA Young Eagles
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