Whelen Motorsports

2016 Chiba Red Bull Air Race Recap for Team Goulian

Mike Goulian • June 07, 2016

The 2016 Red Bull Air Race in Japan is over for Team 99. Saturday’s Qualifying Races were cancelled due to extreme high winds so the head-to-head heats for Sunday were based upon World Championship Standings (instead of Qualifying runs). This placed Goulian’s head-to-head race against Britain’s Nigel Lamb. An over-G penalty on Sunday cost Team 99 the chance to advance into the Round of 8. Pilots are allowed to be over 10G for .06 of a second. Goulian was over 10G for .062 seconds. Four pilots over G’d on Sunday. The planes are getting so fast that hitting 10Gs is now just a flick of the wrist on the stick. Even though the over-G was a set back, Goulian’s race lines were stellar and the aircraft posted fast times all week. The team is making progress and looking forward to the race in Budapest on July 16 – 17.

We have a fast airplane; we were fast again in the compensation training here – we were #1 again. We are now just trying to fine tune these little things. I over-Gd in training a little bit and here in the race the same thing just going for it. When you have to fly a fast time, which you have to do against Nigel, you have to lay it all out there. We were over G for 2 1000th of a second too much. The qualifying session: you never know what can happen, so when we did not have qualifying and we just went on world championship points some of the [head-to-head heat] draws were better than others and we had a difficult draw, but honestly I wasn’t really flying against Nigel as much as I was trying to fly the fastest time that I could today. Knowing that there was nothing I could leave on the track, so when you’re going for it the difference between 10 and 10.1 [Gs] for 2 1000th of a second you can’t feel that. Pablo and I were just talking, we know we’re fast, we just need a little bit of luck.

We are looking forward to the rest of the year. It’s exciting to be where we are. The results aren’t showing yet, but the speed is in the machine and we’re flying it on a really great line. Chiba’s been a tough week overall with the loss of my friend on Thursday with the Blue Angel’s crash (Jeff ‘Kooch’ Kuss died, Thursday, June 2, 2016) and just trying to be here all week has been difficult; it’s not an excuse it’s just one of those things where sometimes you want to put a race behind you and this is one we want to put behind us.