Ben Murphy showed his intention to take his first win in the Red Bull Air Race with a show of dominance in today's Free Practice sessions. In both sessions, Murphy posted a time of 1:16.307, which was enough to see him finish top of both timesheets. He would've been a second faster in Free Practice 2 but for a penalty in his quickest run.
Murphy started the day well in Free Practice 1 when he dominated the pack with a blistering time of 1:16.865. Home hero, Kevin Coleman wasn't far behind and crossed the Finish Gate just 0.125s behind the Brit. Coleman was also hot on the heels of Murphy in Free Practice 2, posting a time just 0.200s slower.
There will be just four pilots competing in the Challenger Class race in Indianapolis. Cristian Bolton couldn't compete due to being moved up into the Master Class and Challenger Cup pilot Francis Barros will not fly this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to personal reasons.
In the first session of the day, Melanie Astles was third in the morning session, but could not get a clean run. Her fastest time of 1:19.738 saw her 2.873s behind the leader, but she collected a two second penalty for incorrect level through a gate.
Luke Czepiela had a morning to forget when he was Disqualified for an operational violation in his first run and in his second he picked up 13 seconds worth of penalties. He improved in Free Practice 2 and was only 1.620s away from the top of the timesheet.
If all four pilots can fly cleanly, this will be the closest race of the season so far.
Free Practice 1 results
Free Practice 2 results