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APRIL 2008















THE fierce competition between Brit Paul Bonhomme and American Mike Mangold came to a head in San Diego at the weekend as Bonhomme claimed his second win of the 2008 Red Bull Air Race World Series season.

It was another dazzling precision performance for the British ace, who, after losing to Mangold by a heart-breaking fraction of a second in 2007, gained a measure of revenge on his American rival with the hard-earned victory.

Although Bonhomme made it look easy with his elegant style of flying through the challenging obstacle course just a few feet above the water, he was breathing hard and drenched in sweat after returning to the runway set up on the US Naval Air Station on North Island. He won the final with a time of 1:18.01 to 1:19.24 for Mangold.

"I'm very pleased to take the win", said Bonhomme, who also won the race in "America's Finest City" last year. "It's a challenging track here in San Diego. You have to be consistent in every session all the time. Today we saw some tight flying, and I had to work very hard to get this spot."

More than 120,000 fans attended the two-day race weekend lining the shores of San Diego Bay.
Bonhomme currently leads the World Series with 18 points. Mangold is second with 15 points.
Mangold was especially resilient in San Diego, bouncing back from a distant third three weeks ago to a close second. He worked with his technician overnight to remove about three pounds of weight from his plane and put in a fantastic run to beat second-year sensation Hannes Arch in the Semi Finals, clocking 1:17.74. Bonhomme was only marginally faster in his Semi Final against Chambliss, with 1:17.59.

"I'm pleased to be on the podium considering the circumstances but annoyed that I can't get my plane to go any faster," said Mangold, the local hero treated like a pop star by thousands of adoring fans at Saturday's Public Pit Lane Walk.

"I think the conditions were ideal in the Semi Final. Paul had his fastest time there too. I was pleased with that run. I just got a little bit too wild in the final, a bit too sloppy. Paul's got a great plane and he's a great pilot."

Kirby Chambliss of the United States won the race for third place, beating Hannes Arch of Austria.

The World Series stays in the US for the third round of the 10-race season which takes place in Detroit, Michigan on 31 May and 1 June.

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