x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Bonhomme takes victory at Red Bull Air Race

Paul Bonhomme keeps his cool in hot and windy conditions today to start his title defence as Red Bull Air Race champion.

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Paul Bonhomme kept his cool in hot and windy conditions today to start his title defence as Red Bull Air Race champion with a series-opening victory over the waters near the Corniche. Bonhomme's win with a final time of 1 minute 14.06 seconds was made more significant when his biggest rival, team Abu Dhabi's Hannes Arch, was disqualified in an earlier round for "dangerous flying". "What a great start to the season, thank you Abu Dhabi," Bonhomme, from the United Kingdom, said from his plane as the final standings were announced. "Can we have it cooler next year, please? Thank you." Arch joined a long list of pilots to be disqualified for dangerous flying today. Matthias Dolderer, from Germany and Kirby Chambliss from the United States were also disqualified for dangerous flying when their planes' wing came too near the water as they navigated the course. Sergei Rakhmanin, of Russia, was disqualified during the wild card competition for flying too close for comfort to those watching the spectacular aerobatics display on the public beach. Michael Goulian, from the United States, qualified for the final four round but was unable to start due to "technical difficulties" with his plane. Matt Hall of Australia and The National-sponsored Alejandro Maclean of Spain also had to park their planes. mchung@thenational.ae