The 12 pilots of the Red Bull Air Race have not really had time to enjoy the scenery at Rovinj in Croatia. This April 13th., in the second round of the world aerobatic championship, the battle raged between these joystick aces but finally, not much separates the places on the podium - less than nine hundredths of a second to be precise ! Result: Paul Bonhomme, the reigning British title holder was pipped at the post - sorry, pylon - by the Austrian Hannes Arch, and Japanese contender, Yoshihide Muroya finished third.
To spice up the competition, the organizers had concocted a more technical and demanding course for these thoroughbred racing machines than at Abu Dhabi. So, some pilots such as the Hungarian Peter Besenyei had to try even harder then normal. In addition, "Mother Nature" messed around with conditions in the air, making it a little more difficult for the Austrian to control his plane at nearly 400 km ( 250 miles ) / h.
Hannes Arch, Winner of the second round Red Bull Air Race :
"Specially here it was really hard because the track was so difficult to fly, then we had the wind change which made the track again a completely different one so the tactics changed."
With 21 points apiece, the Austrian and British pilots are neck and neck at the end of the 2nd., round, adding to the excitement of the 3rd., due to be played out on 17th., and 18th., May, in Putrajaya, Malaysia.