Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service Team
The first Red Bull Air Race pilot from Hong Kong gave his fans a lot to cheer about on Sunday, 16 September, as Kenny Chiang won his second Challenger Class race in two days at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Luke Czepiela of Poland took second place, while Baptiste Vignes of France repeated his Saturday result finishing in third.
Wiener Neustadt, Austria – After a commanding Saturday win on Europe’s oldest and largest natural airfield, Chiang’s mastery of Wiener Neustadt’s difficult standing start continued on Sunday. Despite the pressure of being first to fly, he calmly delivered a crisp, penalty-free run for a time of 1:03.654, just a quarter of a second off his race-winning time from Saturday. Czepiela came close, finishing just 0.253s behind, while Vignes recorded a personal best for the weekend with 1:04.198.
“Flying consistently and clean was always the aim, and although I left a little bit of time out there on the track, overall I’m happy with a penalty-free run. Before this weekend, I wasn’t sure whether I would be in the season finale, but hopefully these two wins should guarantee a seat in that final race,” said Chiang, who is in his second season of competition. “My parents came to Wiener Neustadt, and yesterday was the first time they heard the Chinese national anthem in person, which was really special. I’m just surprised I could do it again today!”
Now, the Red Bull Air Race moves to the USA. Only one October race remains for the Challenger Class to earn points before the top six pilots are invited to November’s season finale, where they will battle in the final showdown of 2018 and the Challenger Cup Champion will be crowned.With his back-to-back wins in Austria, Chiang rocketed from tenth in the overall standings to the very top, where he is tied in the points with Czepiela (26 points each). Vignes’ two podiums moved him up to third place on the leaderboard (22 points), while in fourth place is two-time Challenger Cup runner-up Daniel Ryfa (SWE, 20 points). In fifth is defending two-time Challenger Cup winner Florian Bergér of Germany (GER, 18 points), who did not compete in Wiener Neustadt. A fierce battle lies ahead for the Challenger Cup that will be awarded on 18 November.
Two more chances to catch a race this season! Tickets for the final stops of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship – Indianapolis Motor Speedway on 6-7 October and Texas Motor Speedway on 17-18 November – are on sale now. For ticket information and updates, visit www.redbullairrace.com
Results Challenger Cup Wiener Neustadt 2: 1. Kenny Chiang (HKG) 1:03.654, 2. Luke Czepiela (POL) 1:03.907, 3. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 1:04.198, 4. Mélanie Astles (FRA) 1:04.380, 5. Dario Costa (ITA) 1:05.816, 6. Daniel Ryfa (SWE) 1:06.113
Overall standings, Challenger Cup 2018:1. Kenny Chiang (HKG) 26 pts, 2. Luke Czepiela (POL) 26 pts, 3. Baptiste Vignes (FRA) 22 pts, 4. Daniel Ryfa (SWE) 20 points, 5. Florian Bergér (GER) 18 pts, 6. Kevin Coleman (USA) 16 pts, 7. Mélanie Astles (FRA) 16 pts, 8. Patrick Davidson (RSA) 14 pts, 9. Dario Costa (ITA) 14 pts, 10. Daniel Genevey (HUN) 8 pts
Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar
2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
20-22 April: Cannes, France
26-27 May: Chiba, Japan
23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary
25-26 August: Kazan, Russia
15-16 September: Wiener Neustadt, Austria
6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA
17-18 November: Fort Worth, USA
About Red Bull Air Race
Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the globe. 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 370 km/h while enduring forces of up to 12G 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.