The day everyone’s been waiting for has finally arrived! Kirby and our newest member, Ashish Kapoor, spent the morning studying the track to find the most optimal flight path prior to start time. It proved to work in the round of fourteen, where Kirby beat Juan Velarde by 0.135 seconds, with a final time of 54.106 seconds.
Moving forward to the round of eight, Kirby flew 0.745 seconds faster than the previous with a final time of 53.631 seconds. It was looking great for Team Chambliss, but Matthias Dolderer managed to fly 1.266 seconds quicker, leaving Kirby in seventh place overall.
“I’m not going to be happy unless I’m in first place, so I just need to fly faster when we move on to Rovinj,” says Kirby.
With the race in Japan now over, Team Chambliss has high hopes for Rovinj, Croatia, the third stop of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race Championship May 30th and 31st!
Gray skies and trickling rain is what the team woke up to at the start of qualifying day, but thankfully the weather gave way for racing! The sold out event in Chiba, Japan, had over 60,000 spectators ready for action! It was the first day pilots were able to fly through the track, increasing difficulty due to lack of familiarity. Kirby’s best time in the training session was 54.603 seconds. In qualifying, he was able to knock off over two and a half seconds, with best time of 52.086 seconds! In his first round tomorrow, Kirby will fly head to head against Mr. Juan Velarde of Spain, whose qualifying time was 52.106 seconds.
With the plane together, the team was ready to fly! The morning was used for interviews with media partners and photographs in Kirby’s new flight suit. In the afternoon, the flying began! Kirby was able to get two test flights in before the day was over, and everything was in great shape! The team’s excited and ready for qualifying day tomorrow!
The weather was quite mellow compared to the previous two days, providing a perfect day for airplane assembly! On top of normal procedure, Jason took extra time polishing the new canopy for its debut in Japan. The team was on the verge of being done when some damage to one of the propeller blades was noticed, but the unexpected prop change didn’t slow them down!
With the team busy at the airport, Kirby spent his afternoon attending a Japanese blessing ceremony at an 800-year-old Chiba shrine.
“It was a great cultural experience for the pilots to be apart of. Everyone in Japan has been so welcoming,” states Kirby.
As day turned to night, the team turned in to rest for another day’s work, eager to fly!
Day two started off a bit shaky, literally! The team awoke to a small earthquake, the first for team members Jason Resop and Kayla Layton.
“I wasn’t sure what was happening initially, I just heard rattling. When I noticed the walls moving, I knew it must be an earthquake,” says Jason.
After the morning excitement, the team headed for the airport and got back to work on the race plane! With the wings and tail installed and operative, everyone headed back to the hotel for a good night’s rest!
Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
The team has officially arrived in Japan! With a typhoon passing through, the weather brought rain and heavy wind; what a change from sunny Arizona! Some were even brave enough to venture outside in it’s peak, standing at a diagonal to not fall down. While the team enjoyed a little break in work, they are excited to return fresh tomorrow and continue preparing for race day!
Kirby’s upside down again! This photo was taken at the Flying Crown Ranch while giving a media ride!
Excited to share just a few of our favorite photos of the Aerobatic Master, Kirby Chambliss!
As Team Chambliss gets ready to leave for the Red Bull Air Race in Japan, there’s excitement in the air! Kirby’s brand new canopy is already in Japan with Crew Chief, Jason Resop departing a few days early to make the install. The team is stoked about racing in Japan for the first time! Kirby says, “I haven’t been to Japan since the World Grand Prix in the late 90’s, the people are tremendous, so gracious and inviting.”
The Japan Race might set the tone for the rest of the season, with little time to make changes, since the remainder of the races are so close together. Croatia is just two short weeks after Japan, with Budapest July 5th, followed by Ascot, August 17th.
Stay connected to Team Chambliss during the 2015 Red Bull Air Race season by using our new app, everything in one place, easy to use and it’s free! The new app is available at the app store, search Team Chambliss, download it today!
Nice video of Kirby’s flyby this week at the Flying Crown Ranch, while hosting some awesome journalists!