Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
At the Red Bull Air Race stop in Kazan, Russia on Sunday, German pilot Florian Bergér flew for the first time since the opener in Abu Dhabi and clinched his second win of the season. South Africa’s Patrick Davidson nearly snatched the trophy from the German with a breathtaking second-place effort, while Hong Kong’s Kenny Chiang, who had won the first race of the Kazan double-header on Saturday, stood on the podium again in third.
conditions were fickle as six Challenger Class pilots sped through the
same difficult racetrack that is flown by the World Championship
contenders over the Kazanka River. Bergér, who had not participated in
Saturday’s opening Challenger Class race in Kazan, had the luck to enter
the track when winds were nearly calm on Sunday, but it was his
strikingly smooth, efficient flying that clinched the early race lead,
with a time of 1:08.360. Flying fourth, Chiang led in the early splits,
but a miscalculated heading out of a Vertical Turning Manoeuvre saw him
slip back to 1:08.760. The last to fly, Davidson knew he had the race in
his hands, and the South African went all out, very nearly nipping
Bergér at the Finish Gate, a mere 0.065s behind.
in his fifth season, Bergér is the only two-time winner of the
Challenger Cup, and his triumph in Kazan brought his career race win
tally to eight. Davidson, meanwhile, flew his first full season in the
sport just last year, and has already claimed three race podiums. Chiang
completed a perfect set of Kazan medals with his third place, having
earned his first race win in the Tatarstan capital in 2017, a second
place result in 2018, and his additional win on Saturday.
Introduced in 2014 as the official feeder category of the Red Bull Air
Race, the Challenger Cup was created to help the next generation of
talented pilots build their skills. This season, the Challenger Class
includes 12 pilots, who will each fly in three races.
racing continues in Kazan on Sunday afternoon with the Master Class race
for World Championship points. Then, the Red Bull Air Race moves on to a
debut at Lake Balaton, Hungary on 13-14 July. It’s a critical stop:
another double-header for the Challenger Class, as well as the
penultimate race for the 2019 World Championship.
Florian Bergér (GER): “My plan had been to expect high winds in the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre, but it felt smooth in cockpit, much different than I expected. So you have to make a late decision. It’s not easy, but you have to have a plan B and stick to Plan B in the end. The race was super, super close, so it was very exciting to watch. There is always luck involved, and I had it today. You have to do a good motor setup, and when you don’t make too many mistakes and you are lucky with the weather, it all works out.”
For ticket information and all the latest news on the Red Bull Air Race, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Results Challenger Class Kazan 2, 2019: 1. Florian Bergér (GER) 1:08.360, 2. Patrick Davidson (RSA) 1:08.425, 3. Kenny Chiang (HKG) 1:08.760, 4. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 1:09.341, 5. Sammy Mason (USA) 1:09.537, 6. Patrick Strasser (AUT) 1:12.351
Red Bull Air Race 2019 Calendar
8-9 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Lake Balaton, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan
About Red Bull Air Race
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an aerial motorsport series that demands a combination of speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, high performance raceplanes, pilots compete in iconic locations over water and land. The high speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability required make it accessible only to the world’s most exceptional pilots.
Flying just metres from the ground,
14 Master Class pilots race against the clock whilst reaching speeds of
up to 370 km/h, requiring a combination of precision and skill unmatched
in the world of aviation. Pilots must be in peak physical condition as
they endure forces up to 12G while navigating the technical racetracks
made up of air-filled pylons.
The Air Race was developed in 2003 and is accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), with more than 90 races completed across five continents. As the most advanced aerial challenge in existence, competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is the highest accolade for elite pilots. A Challenger Cup feeder series was introduced in 2014.