Austria’s Hannes Arch clinched his eighth career victory by defeating defending champion Paul Bonhomme in a gripping final in the second stop of the eight-leg Red Bull Air Race World Championship on Sunday in Rovinj, Croatia.
The Austrian, trailing Bonhomme at the midway point of the final round by 0.23 seconds, had a flawless run in the final, stopping the clock in 59.012 seconds — ahead of Bonhomme’s 59.097. They have 21 points each in the World Championship standings.
Japan’s Yoshihide Muroya finished third, the first podium of his career, on a challenging course in the bay off Rovinj that was made even more difficult when the winds coming from the south shifted to from the west.
“It’s really special. When I heard I was first I had tears in my eyes because of all the emotions and the release of the pressure. It was so difficult here.” said Arch, who felt lifted by a surge of support this weekend from the big crowd in Rovinj, a stunning town on a peninsula known as the blue pearl of the Adriatic.
Results: 1. Hannes Arch (AUT), 2. Paul Bonhomme (GBR), 3. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 4. Pete McLeod (CAN), 5. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
World Championship Standings: 1. Arch (AUT) 21 points, 2. Bonhomme (GBR) 21, 3. McLeod (CAN) 12, 4. Muroya (JPN) 7, 5. Hall (AUS) 7