RBAR BUDAPEST: QUALIFYING CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Constant poor weather conditions, including teeming rain and low clouds have forced the Race Committee of the Red Bull Air Race to cancel all race operations for today including the Qualifying session.
The racetrack over the Danube was deemed to no longer be safe for operation.
“Safety for the Red Bull Air Race is of the utmost priority,” Race Director Jim DiMatteo said.
The cancellation means Australian pilot Matt Hall will now face Martin Sonka in an all-important round of 14 clash on Sunday, the pair earning a showdown based on the current world rankings (Hall is currently ranked 8th, Sonka 7th) that decide the matchups when qualifying does not proceed.
It is a mouth watering clash for the tens of thousands of spectators that will line the Danube in downtown Budapest. Last year Hall was dominating the field at the Hungarian race, clocking the fastest time in all training sessions, winning qualifying and posting the quickest time in the round of 14 before running into a white hot Sonka in the round of 8 and being jettisoned from the competition.
It was a huge upset and something Hall will be keen to make amends for this time around, although the former RAAF fighter pilot said he was more focussed on himself than the talented Czech Sonka.
“It’s a shame that qualifying was cancelled but there was just no way we could have flown safely in that weather,” Hall said.
“So we start preparing and focussing on tomorrow and hopefully I can get one back on Martin (Sonka).
“I fly first and I will be just trying to do the best that I can and put down a good solid run with no penalties. If we do that I will be happy and hopefully will be good enough to progress to the round of 8.”
**Unfortunately Saturday’s Red Bull Air Race was not completed as per the official schedule. Please note that all Sunday and weekend ticket holders will remain valid for Race Day, Sunday 17 July. Red Bull Air Race advises all customers to retain Saturday’s event ticket until further notice. Full refund information will be available on redbullairrace.com from Monday 18 July.