Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
Florian Berger of Germany set a career milestone on Sunday with his first Challenger Class win at Budapest, the spiritual home of the Red Bull Air Race. Poland’s Luke Czepiela flew to second place, and the third step of the podium went to Sweden’s Daniel Ryfa.
In his third season of competition, Bergér – who won the Challenger Cup in 2016 – thrilled the large Budapest crowd with a Challenger Class record for the new racetrack over the Danube: 1:09.946. Under sunny skies but turbulent winds, Czepiela managed to fly cleanly, but was more than three seconds behind at 1:13.515, while Ryfa, himself a past Budapest winner, incurred a two-second penalty that resulted in a time of 1:14.735.
The Challenger Class was introduced to give outstanding pilots a training ground for building their skills for potential advancement to the Master Class in the World Championship, and for the second race in a row Bergér used his experience to leap from a fourth-place Qualifying result to the top step of the podium.
“It’s been an amazing week here in Budapest,” said the 28-year-old, whose previous 2017 win was at April’s Challenger Class debut in San Diego, California. “I was so disappointed yesterday because my flight didn’t really go well. I was nervous this morning, and I didn’t know what to do – if I should go vertical or flat in the turn. I decided on short notice before my flight. But now I have no words for it, it’s a really cool feeling.”
The Challengers and the Master Class will next fly at the historic Red Bull Air Race debut in the Russian sports capital of Kazan on 22-23 July 2017.
Reserve your seat! Tickets for the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship are on sale now. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com
Results Challenger Class, Budapest 2017: 1. Florian Bergér (GER) 1:09.946, 2. Luke Czepiela (POL) 1:13.515, 3. Daniel Ryfa (SWE) 1:14.735, 4. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 1:15.048, 5. Kenny Chiang (CHN) 1:17.042, 6. Daniel Genevey (HUN) 1:20.649
Overall standings, Challenger Cup 2017: 1. Florian Bergér (GER) 28 points, 2. Daniel Ryfa (SWE) 16 pts, 3. Luke Czepiela (POL) 14 pts, 4. Kevin Coleman (USA) 10 pts, 5. Mélanie Astles (FRA) 6 pts, 6. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 6 pts, 7. Daniel Genevey (HUN) 4 pts, 8. Ben Murphy (GBR) 4 pts, 9. Kenny Chiang (CHN) 2 pts
About Red Bull Air Race:
Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship celebrated its landmark 75th race at the 2017 season opener in Abu Dhabi. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.