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First News From AUH

I know I’m in Abu Dhabi because it’s lovely and warm. 35 degrees C to be precise… which is fine when you’re on the beach but a trifle warm when you’re in a Nomex flying suit, flying under the sun, pulling 10 g to see how your post winter G tolerance is going. The good news for fans of Team Bonhomme is that everything is going just fine. We were concerned about temperature but the aeroplane is behaving beautifully despite the heat. We have a few minor tweaks to make and should be ready for the training camp on Sunday.


As this is the first race of a new season, we all have the opportunity to fly in a track for two days prior to the race proper next week. This is a track set up in the desert which is different from the race track for Abu Dhabi. It’ll be a great chance to set the aeroplane up and get my eye in for the pylons.


The big news here is finding out what the other teams have been up to over the winter… LOTS! We’re all parked in one big hangar at Al Bateen airfield before we relocate to the race airport next week, so great news for “tweak spotting”. Chambliss has gone for a “smiley” cowling inlet. It’s looks good for cooling but we’re not sure about drag reduction. Goulian has added about two inches to his wing leading edge on the outboard 40%. I’m interested to see what it does… I’m guessing that it’s for improved turning radius but will it slow him down? There are a host of other mods being tried out… some you can see, some you can’t. Nigel Lamb is strolling around with an air of confidence… we think it’s engine related but the track will tell us if it’s worked. As for Hannes Arch… strangely, he is in a hangar of his own away from all of us. We can’t help feeling it’s a bit strange, we all have technical tweaks to hide but none of us have been given the opportunity of our own hangar. Make your own minds up but I don’t get it…


So, more flying this afternoon followed by meeting up with Steve Jones later on this evening. He’s here to help Yoshi Muroya and Matt Hall get their feet under the table with the racing as well as advising the media on technical issues. Jim Reed, who helped us in Mojave, will also be here later to assist Wade with general mods and adjustments to the aeroplane. Roll on the racing!