With only five days between the end of Air Race Japan and the start of Air Race Croatia, everyone had just a few days rest! To the team’s excitement, there were no surprises on day one in Rovinj. The plane’s assembly was completed seamlessly, with additional help from team member Domingo. The team’s excited to get in the air tomorrow! Smoke on!
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!