5 ISSUES OF PILOT MAGAZINE FOR £5 CLICK HERE

Matthias Dolderer wins the Red Bull Air Race title

PUBLISHED: 16:27 06 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:27 06 October 2016

Matthias Dolderer kisses the yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after winning the World Championship | Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

Matthias Dolderer kisses the yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after winning the World Championship | Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

Archant

The German claimed his first World Championship with a race to spare, thanks to an unwavering performance in the Red Bull Air Race debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

More than 62,000 people watched the action from the stands, making a strong case for the return of the Red Bull Air Race to the legendary ‘Brickyard’ next year.

Dolderer had gone to Indianapolis with a 16.5 point advantage over nearest rival Matt Hall, but the Australian was mounting a strong comeback, having won the previous two races at Ascot and Lausitz.

Both made it to the Final 4 comfortably, where they were joined by Brit Nigel Lamb (who will be retiring at the end of the series) and Pete McLeod of Canada.

It had been a disappointing day for the American pilots, who hoped to impress in front of a home crowd. Michael Goulian lost his heat – even though his opponent picked up a two-second penalty – while previous champion Kirby Chambliss was disqualified for overworking his engine beyond the 2950rpm limit.

Hall also ended the weekend feeling frustrated. Any hopes for a third consecutive victory were dashed moments into his final flight when he clipped a pylon at Gate 2, incurring a three-second penalty.

With Hall out of contention, a clean time would have been enough for Dolderer to claim the championship.

Matt Hall congratulates Dolderer | Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content PoolMatt Hall congratulates Dolderer | Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

But he won it in style, demonstrating that same ruthless consistency he has shown throughout the series. His time of 1:03.335 smashed second-place Lamb’s time by almost a second. McLeod made the podium in third.

It is Dolderer’s first Red Bull title, as well as Germany’s. “There’s so many emotions, it’s really hard to keep them under control. It’s a dream come true, and we worked really hard for it,” said the 46-year-old.

“Thanks to my family, the fans, everyone here in Indianapolis and my team – I have the best team in the world.”

The final round starts on 15 October in Las Vegas.

__________________

You may also like:

5 of the best Red Bull pilots

Hannes Arch, 1967-2016

10 of the best: aerobatic pilots

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Pilot