Hannes Arch of Austria is tied for second in points and trails Great Britain's Paul Bonhomme by one point as the Red Bull Air Race World Championship heads to the skies above Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday. And Arch, who enjoyed a double-digit lead earlier in the season, wouldn't have it any other way.
"For every athlete, I think it's really difficult to be in the lead," Arch said. "You don't want to waste what you've got in your pocket; that makes you hold back a bit more, which is bad for racing because it's just what the others wait for.
"But right now I think that there is no more room for playing any more tactics or mind games. It's just two races and time for us all to really go for it. If you don't risk it, you won't win it. And if you don't win it, you lose it."
Arch will be going for the win this weekend when Las Vegas Motor Speedway plays host to the 230-mph race planes in the seventh of eight races on the 2014 schedule.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship puts the best race pilots on the planet to the ultimate test in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. The pilots fly the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes to navigate a low-level aerial track made up of 80-foot-high air-filled pylons at speeds of up to 230 mph while enduring forces of up to 10G.
Arch is tied with British pilot Nigel Lamb for second as the three-way battle for the championship heads to Las Vegas. Arch said with only two races remaining, the time for strategy has long passed.
"There is no strategy (other than) just go out there and try to win," Arch said. "If you don't do that, then Paul or Nigel will do it. If it had been the beginning of the season, then you could still think about tactics or think about which direction you want to go in. But there is no room for trying new things anymore. Every one of us knows that we really must hit it in the next couple of races."
Tickets for the Las Vegas stop of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship are available by calling 1-800-644-4444 or by visiting lvms.com or redbullairrace.com.