The third round of the Red Bull Air Race took place about twenty kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur on 17th., and 18th., May over the lake at Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia; and it was with the colossal Putra Mosque, and its 116 metre ( 380ft. ) minaret as a backdrop, that 12 of the world's fastest globetrotters thrilled the spectators.
Over an extremely fast circuit, humidity at 90%, and an outdoor temperature of 37° Celsius, the pilots nerves were strained to the limit. Hannes Arch, who won the second round, this time finished second behind Britain's ( Zimbabwean born ) Nigel Lamb, who's course time was a just a little over one minute fifteen seconds.
Nigel Lamb, 3rd. round Winner - Red Bull Air Race 2014:
''I'm happy, I mean I've come second quite a few times and it always just seemed to be that little - you know - impossible step to take, but no, I'm very happy.''
Out of 43 races, Nigel Lamb has, in fact, finished second, six times. Paul Bonhomme, the defending champion, achieved a disappointing performance in this event by finishing fifth. In the present world championship rankings, he therefore slips back to second place, leaving first place to the Austrian Hannes Arch.
Hannes Arch, present 1st. overall - Red Bull Air Race 2014:
“It was quite smart from my side not to risk my good ranking to Paul, which brings me ahead in the championship, so tactical-wise, I think I did a great job.''
But, all is not lost - or won. Between now and November, there are still five races to go on the world championship programme. The next aerial battle will be fought in Poland on 26th., and 27th., July.