Whelen Motorsports

Goulian’s Race Team Prepped and Ready for Abu Dhabi

Mike Goulian • February 03, 2015

It’s the dawn of a new year for Team Goulian Race #99. After a short and cold off-season in eastern United States, Mike Goulian takes his new Edge 540 VX (EVX) to the skies under below freezing temperatures for the first pre-season flight testing sessions in Burlington, NC.

For Team Goulian, 2015 started as soon as the Spielberg race was in the books. A new team was formed and challenged with creating a clean sheet design natural born race machine. Within days, a brand new airplane was in the making at Bully Aero’s facilities in North Carolina. The goal: build the most efficient, lightweight, fast and safe race plane possible.

Just before Christmas and New Year’s holidays all new titanium, carbon fiber and kevlar parts were fabricated, exhausting weight-savings work and aerodynamics improvements had been completed, virtual design models had been optimized. A newly designed engine cowl, canopy, and landing gear are the most visual mods, but what you don’t see is just as impressive. The EVX was flown for the first time on January 9th, 2015 and proved that weight, speed, and reliability goals were all exceeded.

The new team is just as impressive as the airplane. For this season Goulian has selected Team Coordinator Pablo C. Branco and Team Technician Dax Wanless for these key roles.

Pablo, born in Brasillia, Brazil grew up around aerobatic airplanes and motorsports. Always a fan of compatriot famous Formula 1 drivers Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna, Pablo comes from a Corporate Aviation background and is a fellow veteran team member in NASCAR, having flown for Nelson Piquet Jr during his years racing in Europe and the USA. His ability to combine his love for flying and racing makes him a natural for Team Coordinator.

American, Dax Wanless is a veteran technician specializing in aerobatic and high performance aircraft. Originally from Platteville, Wisconsin, Wanless spent many years traveling the world with renowned airshow performers where he earned a reputation for his expertise not only as a mechanic but also aerobatic pilot in this demanding environment. Wanless’ experience and well rounded pilot skill will allow him to excel as the Team’s Technician.

"Our #99 Team is making the trip to Abu Dhabi as prepared as we have ever been. We have all worked very hard during the off season and this hard work has reflected on how our brand new race plane performed during our test sessions. I feel like we have such a great race plane, and I know that gives the whole team a lot of confidence to build the momentum we need for the first race. I believe this season will require even more consistency in every aspect, and that is what we will strive for. Speed and consistency."

The season of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race kicks off February 13-14 over the sparkling blue waters of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates.