Tucsonan Kirby Chambliss still in running for Red Bull Air Race championship

Tucsonan Kirby Chambliss slipped into 3rd place in the 2017 Red Bull Air Race championship overall standings.

By Harry Alexander / SoAzNewsX

Tucson air race pilot Kibry Chambliss has been bumped from the overall top spot in the Red Bull Air Race championship standings. He finished fourth in the race last weekend at Porto, Portugal. That finish moved him from the top spot overall to fourth place in the Master Class Division.

Chambliss entered the Porto race with two successive wins under his belt at Budapest, Hungary and Kazan, Russia. Chambliss has two World Titles and eight race victories, which puts him joint third on the all-time wins list, according the Red Bull Air Race website.

Chambliss moved the Round of 14 and Round of 8 without any penalties. But, come the Final 4 round, he was dinged a two second penalty for beginning a climb for a vertical turn maneuver while the plane was still in the race gate.

“[A penalty in the Final 4] was unfortunate, we were trying to go fast,” said Chambliss. “Everybody is right on the edge, and sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. The bear got us today.”

Czech pilot Martin Sonka earned the top spot on the podium. The win pushed him into the top spot with 54 points. Canadian pilot Pete McLeod is in second place with 50 points, followed by Chambliss with 47 points

“I have to thank Porto. It was an amazing stay here, an amazing race,” Sonka said. “After the last three races where we got various penalties, it was simply time to fly again – and race again – and we won, so I’m really happy. Of course we would like to win the title, but the others are fast, and with two races left there are still a lot of points on the table. So nothing is decided yet, and we have to wait until the end of the season.”

The Red Bull Air Race season spans the world with eight races held throughout the world. There are two more races in the 2017 season: Lausitz, Germany on Sept. 16 and 17 and the final race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 14 and 15. The action is available on NBCSN.



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