Red Bull Air Race 2010: Training Days In Windsor

Just hours away from the start of the 2010 Red Bull Air Race in Windsor, Canada, the pilots are trying to keep their cool and not dwell on the results of the training runs.

Pete Mcleod Training Day Windsor.  Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty ImagesThe pilots have completed training days 1 and 2 as they gear up for stop No. 4 of the 2010 Red Bull Air Race in Windsor.  With only a four point lead after his two third place finishes, Paul Bonhomme took first place in the training and hopes that the real event will similarly go his way. 

Paul Bonhomme posted the fastest time on training day one (1:11:97) and outflew Hannes Arch for the first place finish.

The pilots were surprised by the race course in Windsor, which significantly resembles the one from 2009.

“We’ve been laughing as the track is similar to last year," said Paul Bonhomme. "It’s easy to think I’ll just strap on the aeroplane and go whistling through."

Nicolas Ivanoff Training Day Windsor.  Photo: Harry How/Getty ImagesDespite the similarities, the slight alterations to the track could prove to be dangerous for an experienced racer who depends too much on track memories from last year.

“On that last 270-degree turn, the second knife-edge is further north than the quadro was last year," said Bonhomme. "You’ve got to get across 40 or 50 metres to the next gate and then the chicane. That’s a major factor. If you get it wrong that’ll be embarrassing – I did that on my first run but it was fine the second time.”

Austria's favorite, Hannes Arch would have been the winner, but fell behind Bonhomme due to a penalty point for insufficient smoke.

“We don’t carry enough smoke for three runs so it’s not a big issue. I would say Paul, Nigel and I were really close,” said Hannes Arch. “It’s now about who is better at improving over the next few days.

Arch is focusing primarily on staying humble and keeping his cool.  With such close times between Bonhomme, Arch and Lamb, the victory is up for grabs.

"I don’t see myself as better than Paul," continued Arch. "That’s too dangerous and you can feel too confident. I’m aiming for smooth and clean flying. That track is so narrow and the chance of making mistakes is high.”

Nigel Lamb was frustrated with his flying and ended up in 4th place behind Matt Hall in the training runs. 

“The conditions were excellent with a gentle south westerly wind, but the track was challenging enough,” said Lamb who laid down a 1:14:87 with 3 seconds in penalties. “I was planning to hit a gate to find an acute angle, but I didn't hit the one planned and just accidentally hit an easy one. But hey it's still only training."

The Red Bull Air Race event begins this Saturday, June 5th, 2010 in Windsor.

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