Motorsport history has been made at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1909, and in the past two seasons the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has been determined at the iconic “Brickyard” – with Matthias Dolderer clinching Germany’s first title there in 2016 and Yoshihide Muroya claiming the first for Japan last year. This time, the battle is between the overall leader Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic and rivals Matt Hall of Australia and Michael Goulian of the USA. Twelve months ago, Sonka had the championship in his hands, only to lose it with his final run at Indianapolis.
The Czech ace is on a hot streak, winning his last three races for a current total of 64 points. A victory at Indianapolis will only be enough to claim the title if Hall, currently second place in the World Championship, finishes in 5th place or below and Goulian finishes in 3rd place or less. Looking to push the Championship battle right to the final, Hall has an insatiable hunger to hoist the World Championship trophy after two near-misses in the runner-up position. The Aussie is respected – and feared – for his ability to deliver his best at season’s end. Meanwhile, Goulian has had the campaign of his career and was in the lead when he stumbled at the recent race in Austria, dropping to third at 55 points. With Indianapolis being the season’s first US stop, and the finale to come at Texas Motor Speedway, he will fly with rousing home support beneath his wings.
Plus the 14-pilot field is packed with potential spoilers who could throw the top three into chaos, like Muroya and Dolderer, who possess two of the fastest raceplanes in the lineup, as well as rising French star Mika Brageot and two-time titleholder Kirby Chambliss, another American wildly popular with the local fans.
Also in action at the home of the Indianapolis 500: The second competition category of the Red Bull Air Race, the Challenger Class, will have their last opportunity to earn points toward a spot in November’s season finale, where the Challenger Cup Champion will be crowned.
See the speedway showdowns: Tickets for the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship – including Indianapolis Motor Speedway on 6-7 October – are on sale now. For information on tickets and the latest updates, visit www.redbullairrace.com.