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Red Bull Air Race Budapest – Day Three

It was a busy day of flights this Independence Day at the race in Budapest! Kirby started off a bit behind in the morning’s training rounds where he received penalties in each run. However, he flew clean in qualifying and finished with a time of 59.496 seconds (just two thousands of a second over his personal best). This placed him in fifth going in to the round of 14.

In the first match on Race Day, Kirby will face fellow Red Bull pilot and hometown favorite, Peter Besenyei of Hungary. Flying his new Edge 540 V3, Besenyei qualified with a time of 1:00.862.

As Kirby moves into tomorrow’s race, his plan is to stay focused and fly clean and fast!

For the full line-up of head-to-head races in the round of 14, visit http://www.redbullairrace.com/en_HU/results.

 

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Red Bull Air Race Budapest – Day Two

With only one day before qualifying, the pilots were able to train on the track for the first time this afternoon! Kirby spent his morning studying the course and mentally preparing himself for the race.

“We definitely don’t have as much time here as we’ve had in other places, so I’m pushing the limits in training to learn what I can do in the course for the fastest times,” said Kirby.

Kirby’s fastest, clean run of the day 59.494 seconds, leaving him in fifth place for that round. Matt hall set the pace for the day with the fastest time of 57.775 seconds. Once training was complete, the remainder of the afternoon was filled with fans from all over the globe! What a way to end the day!

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Red Bull Air Race Budapest – Day One

The team has arrived in the beautiful city of Budapest! Unlike the previous races this season, the aircraft did not need to be assembled. Instead, the morning was spent at a local airport where the aircraft was left for storage after the race in Budapest. From there, it was ferried to the race airport by technician Jason Resop. After inspections and few small maintenance items, Kirby was in the air for test flights! Everything ran smooth and the team left ready for practice runs through the course tomorrow!

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Budapest, Here We Come!

In less than a week, pilots will take to the skies at one of the most iconic stops of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race season! Held on the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary, the racecourse resides in front of the parliament building at the country’s capital.

Air Race Budapest is also home to one of the most memorable grand entrances, with each pilot passing under the historic Chain Bridge prior to reaching the start gate! While the height of the river does change, there is usually about 20-30 feet of clearance between the water and the base of the bridge. With Kirby’s Edge 540 V3 standing at a height of 9 feet tall (when in straight and level flight), his margin of error is only 10-20 feet.

Being one of two stops in the original Red Bull Air Race back in 2003, Budapest has remained a stop seven of the nine previous seasons (the only other location to appear this many times is Abu Dhabi, UAE). After a six-year hiatus from hosting the race, Kirby and the team are excited to return to Budapest! And why wouldn’t they be; the team has had a great deal of success at this location in previous seasons, making the podium five out of seven times! Placements as follows:

  •      2003: 3rd
  •      2004: 1st
  •      2005: 2nd
  •      2007: 2nd
  •      2009: 3rd

After flying some very competitive times during training in Rovinj, Kirby is enthusiastic about the upcoming race. He and the team are looking to take home a trophy this Independence Day weekend, July 4th and 5th!

 

Stay up-to-date on the behind-the-scenes action by reading our Daily Diary entries and following our social media channels for live updates throughout the week!

 

 

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Air Race Rovinj, Day Six: Race Day

Rovinj, Croatia, was a tough break for Kirby! He faced fellow U.S. competitor Michael Goulian in Heat 5 of the Round of 14. Goulian flew first leaving the time to beat at 55.601 seconds. Kirby started fast and clean, which looked promising as he overtook Goulian in the first few gates.  Unfortunately, he received two two-second penalties for flying too high in gates five and seven. Kirby’s final time was 58.886 seconds, bringing his competition to an end.

Winners of the Super Eight who moved on to the Final Four were Martin Sonka of Czech Republic, Hannes Arch of Austria, Mike Goulian of U.S.A., and Matt Hall of Australia.

Hannes Arch took first place for his second time in a row at the Red Bull Air Race Rovinj with a time of 54.012 seconds. Martin Sonka took a close second with a time of 54.083 seconds, followed by Matt Hall in third with a time of 54.160 seconds. Michael Goulian did not finish due to an over-G penalty.

Kirby placement in Rovinj was 11th overall. The team holds high hopes for Red Bull Air Race Budapest on July 5, 2015, hoping to make the podium for the first time this season!

 

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Air Race Rovinj, Day Five: Qualifying

The windy weather in Rovinj proved to add difficulty during the qualifying rounds, increasing the number of pylon hits and total track times by all. Kirby’s net time during flight one was actually faster than his second at 55.818 seconds, but a 2 second penalty for an incorrect level left a time of 57.818 seconds. Finishing 7th, he moves forward to the round of fourteen with a clean time of 56.098 seconds and will face fellow U.S. pilot Michael Goulian. Britain’s pilot Paul Bonhomme still holds first place with qualifying time of 54.226 seconds.

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Air Race Rovinj, Day 4: Training, Training, Training!

Day four was meant for training! As the pilots became more familiar with the course, overall track times continued to decrease. During training one on day three, Kirby’s fastest time was 58.710 seconds. By the end of day four, he was able to shave off 4.519 seconds, with a fastest time of 54.191 seconds! Kirby took the evening to rest and prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying round, working closely with Michael on course analysis.

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Air Race Rovinj, Day Three: On the Track

Today was the first day all pilots were able to practice in the racecourse, and it proved to be windy! Many pylons went down, including Kirby’s first hit of the season!

“Practice is when you are learning the track and figuring out what you are able to do. Better to hit a pylon in practice than during the race!” says Kirby.

The team also welcomed new member Michael Zyskowski of Microsoft, who works alongside Ashish Kapoor on technical planning and course optimization. After flying was over for the day, he was given a tour of the gates, both inside and out!

“They are so much bigger than I expected them to be!” exclaims Michael. Check out the photos below!

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