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12 NOV 07: BAD LUCK FOR BONHOMME

Mangold wins championship after tie on points in finale

PAUL Bonhomme came so close to becoming the 2007 Red Bull Air Race World Series champion at the final round in Perth, Australia on 4 November.

Six levels of tie-breakers had to be gone through to find a champion after Brit Bonhomme and arch-rival American Mike Mangold tied on points.

The 52-year-old Californian pulled off the triumph after an improbable comeback, erasing a two-point deficit by taking third place in Perth.

Bonhome went into the race as championship leader but had to settle for fifth place -- his worst result in 2007 and the first time he has failed to get on the podium.

Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff took advantage of the opening at the top that Bonhomme and Mangold provided when they both appeared to show some nerves, grabbing his first race victory of the season.
He beat American Michael Goulian in the final to become the fifth different winner in this most competitive Red Bull Air Race season ever. Ivanoff surprised the field with the best time of the day in the final.
The key moment came in the quarter-finals when Bonhomme and Mangold were racing against each other. Bonhomme went first and put in a good time but Mangold was faster.

The pressure was still on Mangold. To stand chance of winning the title, he knew he had to get on the podium. Yet he was soundly defeated in the semi-final by Ivanoff after a surprisingly shaky run. But Mangold won the consolation final for third place against Spaniard Alejandro Maclean to raise his season total to 47 points and equal Bonhomme's total.

So it went to tie-breakers. Bonhomme and Mangold had the same number of firsts, seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths as well as the same number of firsts in elimination rounds. It wasn't until the next tie-breaker in the rule book - the number of 'seconds' in elimination rounds - that Mangold (2) edged Bonhomme (1).

Peter Besenyei took third place in the championship after finishing second in both 2005 and 2006.
However, there was some consolation for the Brits as Bonhomme and his Matador team-mate Steve Jones were able to celebrate winning the team championship ahead of Team Red Bull with Besenyei and American Kirby Chambliss.

"I'm incredibly happy," said Mangold. "The title landed in my lap in the last minute. I really wasn't expecting it. It was a long and extremely difficult year. We had some problems during the course of the season, but the team didn't stick its head in the sand. We worked hard on becoming successful again." Bonhomme, who got thunderous applause from the big crowd, kept a stiff upper lip. "It was a constant battle with Mike all season and at the end of the day he was the luckier pilot. It could hardly be any closer than that. It's incredible."
W: www.redbullairrace.com

RED BULL IN 2008
NEXT season will see an extra round being introduced into the Red Bull World Air Race Series - in Sweden. The series will also return to the Netherlands after its success there in 2005. The season will start, as usual, with Abu Dhabi in the UAE in April. Other races will include the current rounds in the USA (two races), UK, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and Australia. It's estimated that four million spectators watched the live events worldwide.

RESULTS

Pos
Pilot NatAircraftPoints
1Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)Extra 300SR 6

2

Michael Goulian

(USA)


Edge 540

5
3Mike Mangold
(USA) Edge 540 4
4Alejandro Maclean
(ESP) Edge 5403
5Paul Bonhomme(GBR)Edge 5402
6Kirby Chambliss
(USA)Edge 5401
7Peter Besenyei
(HUN)Edge 540 0
8Nigel Lamb
(GBR)MX20
9Hannes Arch
(AUT)
Edge 5400
10Steve Jones
(GBR)Edge 540 0
11
Sergey Rakhmanin          
(RUS)Edge 540 0
12
Frank Versteegh(NED) Edge 540 0
13
Klaus Schrodt(GER)Extra 300S 0


RED BULL AIR RACE WORLD SERIES POSITIONS

1Mangold (Cobra) 
47
2Bonhomme (Matador)
47
3
Besenyei (Red Bull)
31
4 Chambliss (Red Bull) 
28
5
Jones (Matador) 
17
6Maclean (Mediterranean Racing Team)
16
7Ivanoff (Mediterranean Racing Team) 7
8
Goulian (Dragon Racing) 
6
9Lamb (Breitling) 
5
10
Arch (Cobra) 3
11 Versteegh (Lobo)
3
12   Rakhmanin (Dragon Racing)
0
13  
Schrodt (Lobo)
0
                                    
                                 
TEAM POSITIONS
1    Matador                                            64
2    Red Bull                                            59
3    Cobra                                                50
4    Mediterranean Racing Team                23
5    Dragon Racing                                   6
6    Breitling                                             5
7    Lobo                                                 3

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