Blades Racing Team finish in the top 4 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway

7th October 2018

In the penultimate race of the Blades first Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Ben Murphy beats both Yoshi Muroya and Kirby Chambliss to secure his first ever top four finish.

The team spent the week leading up to race day making a few modifications to the plane, and struggled getting to grips with all the systems. As a result, the performance of the pilot and the team was lower than in previous races, and was quite clear in the Free Practice sessions, being considerably off of the pace.

Qualification offered some promise as Murphy set down a solid time of 1:06:848 in difficult wind conditions, however this was only good enough to secure a 10th place finish at the end of the session. Murphy’s fate was sealed, and the team were to face Muroya for the first time this season in the Round of 14.

With the Championship so close, points were the main aim for the Blades Racing Team today, and as such the tactics were not to outright beat Muroya but to put down a solid time in hope of going through as the fastest loser to the Round of 8.

Murphy laid down a 1:07:130, nearly two seconds off of Muroya’s pace the previous day. Getting through to the next round was looking less and less likely, but as his opponent turned into Gate 13 he received an incorrect level, adding two seconds to his time. Murphy was through to his fourth final 8 of his rookie season.

A familiar face was up next; that of USA’s Kirby Chambliss, who the Blades have faced twice previously throughout the season. Now with the mixture settings in the plane spot on, Murphy achieved an incredible 1:05:428, putting an immense amount of pressure on the previous World Champion who flew second.

The Blades flew into the final four for the first time with ease, with Chambliss picking up a 2 second penalty; now the test was on to see if Murphy could make it a first podium for his first season in the Red Bull Air Race Master Class.

Unfortunately, the team experienced the same issues that had plagued them previously in the week and the plane underperformed in the final four, leaving Murphy in fourth position and a bitter sweet best all time finish.

“What this week has shown is that we have a fast plane when we get everything right, and our goal now is to get on that podium.”

The Blades Racing Team sit in 8th position now in the World Championship standings. Make sure to watch the last race of the season next month in Fort Worth, Texas, to see if Murphy and the team can go that one step further and lift a trophy!

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