Whelen Motorsports

Mike Goulian flies clean, maybe too clean in Malaysia

Mike Goulian • May 30, 2014

On one hand, American pilot Mike Goulian saw some encouraging progress at the third stop of the Red Bull Air Race in Malaysia on Sunday - but not nearly the kind of progress he’s looking for. For three races in a row, the award-winning pilot has finished in twelfth place. At the next stop, in Poland, expect an aggressive new strategy from the man from Massachusetts.

Press Release: News about Plymouth, Mass. Resident / Pilot Mike Goulian

Event: Malaysia / Red Bull Air Race World Championship / Motorsports
Michael Goulian with team technician, Dennis Sawyer in Malaysia. Photo Credit: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

PUTRAJAYA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - The race in Putrajaya marked a trifecta for American pilot Mike Goulian - an intensely frustrating one. After having to scratch the first event in Abu Dhabi due to engine trouble, and grazing a pylon in Rovinj, he was looking to change his luck at the first Red Bull Air Race ever in east Asia. But much like fellow American Kirby Chambliss (who finished ninth) Goulian flew well despite sweltering heat on May 18, only to log a lackluster time. Goulian ended up in twelfth place, and both Americans are now looking to improve their aircraft performance before the season’s next stop in July.

Great Britain’s Nigel Lamb had a happier finish to the day, claiming his very first win after seven years of competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Austria’s Hannes Arch, the overall leader, finished second, with Australia’s Matt Hall claiming third. A big surprise on the sweltering day: Britain’s Paul Bonhomme, who came into the race tied with Arch in the points, finished off the podium in fifth.

After the event, Goulian stated, "I went in there with a mindset of just not to make any errors and to be really clean, and it might have been a little bit more conservative than I would have wanted - but truthfully, we’ve been watching the lines everybody else is flying and I’m not sure I can fly the airplane much better." He went on, "Our plane might be a little bit slower, so for the next race team technicians Dennis Sawyer and Matt Chapman will work on aerodynamic modifications and engine mods. We’re going to try lighten the plane a little and work on the engine intakes."

Despite his strong piloting performance, Goulian is pondering a new strategy at the next stage of high-speed, low-altitude action in Gdynia, Poland on July 26-27. "My style is to stay consistent and try to work my way up slowly, but I think at the next stop we’ll take a different style from the beginning of training - just start it at a very aggressive level and see how that works."

Results: 1. Nigel Lamb (GBR), 2. Hannes Arch (AUT), 3. Matt Hall (AUS), 4. Pete McLeod (CAN), 5. Paul Bonhomme (GBR), 6. Martin Sonka (CZE), 7. Peter Besenyei (HUN), 8. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 9. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 10. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 11. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 12. Michael Goulian (USA)

Watch the Malaysia Red Bull Air Race World Championship race on FOX SPORTS.
Comcast New England: Monday, June 2 - 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Channel 122 FS1, 841 FS1HD
Check local listings for dates and times.