Thrilling first win of Red Bull season for Steve Jones
Britain’s Steve Jones won his first race of this year’s Red Bull Air Race series in a breathtaking final at the weekend in Portugal.Jones put in a sterling performance in front of the 600,000-strong Portuguese crowd with a great final run through the 17-gate course to beat championship leader Mike Mangold by 0.38 seconds. He posted a winning time of 1 minute 10.00 seconds. Jones’s teammate Paul Bonhomme, who had been leading the series for much of the year, took third place.“It was great”, said Jones after the race. “I was hoping to get into the 1:10s. To do a 1:10 level is amazing. I just think this track really suited my airplane. The airplane is doing very well so I’m extremely happy. I’ve also helped Paul a bit (by beating Mangold), which is good, even if it was not as much as possible. And it’s good for the Matadors team, of course, getting points for the team competition as well.”American Mangold leads the series, which has two more stops, with 41 points to Bonhomme’s 39. This was the first Red Bull Air Race to be held in Portugal and traffic on local motorways came to a standstill, rail tickets to the city were sold out and virtually every inch of balcony space facing the course over the Douro river in the historic centre of the city was occupied for the event. Next stop, the penultimate race in the series, is San Diego on 22 September.You can see some of the weekend’s action by clicking the video button on the right.