Record for Sweden’s Ryfa with third Hungarian win

Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service

In the concluding race of a Challenger Cup double-header on 13-14 July, Red Bull Air Race pilot Daniel Ryfa of Sweden triumphed to become the first Challenger Class pilot ever to clinch three race victories in the sport’s spiritual home of Hungary. In Sunday’s six-pilot showdown in the Lake Balaton resort town of Zamárdi, where 100,000 spectators thrilled to the weekend’s flying, Saturday’s winner Dario Costa of Italy captured second place, while Baptiste Vignes of France was third.

Zamárdi, Hungary

– Tension was high as Costa and Ryfa were both flying in their last race of the season. Costa, who had taken his career-first Red Bull Air Race win in Saturday’s Challenger Class opener over Lake Balaton, started the proceedings with a clean run of 1:04.447, just slightly over his winning time from Saturday despite another day of windy conditions. Having finished second to Costa in Saturday’s battle, Ryfa went all out. A one-second penalty for Over G at Gate 9 looked like it might crush the Swede’s chances, but he made up the time to finish a slim 0.197s ahead of the Italian (1:04.250). At 1:04.830, Vignes was the only other pilot to break 1:05.

– Ryfa is the only pilot to have participated in every Challenger Cup season since the inaugural year of 2014. He previously won in Hungary at the Budapest races in 2015 and 2016, and his career win tally is now eight. Costa, meanwhile, joined the sport in 2018, and before Lake Balaton his best race finish had been third, so his results in the double-header round out a complete set of podium medals. Vignes, who joined the sport in 2017, boosted his medal count to five.

– The official feeder category of the Red Bull Air Race, the Challenger Cup was introduced to help the next generation of talented pilots build their skills. Also flying in Challenger Cup Lake Balaton 2 on Sunday were Patrick Strasser of Austria, Mélanie Astles of France, and Vito Wyprächtiger, who made his Challenger Class debut over the weekend as the first pilot from Switzerland ever to contend in the Red Bull Air Race. Twelve Challenger Class pilots are competing across the season, with three races each.

– Next up: The Red Bull Air Race reaches its climax at the season finale, with racing for the Challenger Class as well as the World Championship’s Master Class in Chiba, Japan on 7-8 September 2019.

Daniel Ryfa (SWE): “A fantastic day at Lake Balaton, I’m very happy with all my flying here. I had been fighting in my previous flying with Over G penalties, so I was trying very hard not to Over G. And I didn’t do it in the gate where I planned not to do it, but I did it in the other end of the track! But I won, so it’s all good. Besides, this was my last race, though I would prefer to continue. It’s the coolest motorsport ever on the planet. There will be nothing like it, and I will miss it for sure, but I’m very happy. I’m overwhelmed.”

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Results, Challenger Class 2 Lake Balaton 2019:  1 Daniel Ryfa (SWE) 1:04.250, 2. Dario Costa (ITA) 1:04.447, 3. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 1:04.830, 4. Patrick Strasser (AUT) 1:05.324, 5. Mélanie Astles (FRA) 1:06.042, 6. Vito Wyprächtiger (SUI) 1:11.883

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.

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