Red Bull Air Race World Championship

16 Oct 2017

The FAI at the heart of the Red Bull Air Race 2017

The FAI, World Air Sports Federation, congratulates the winners of this season’s Red Bull Air Race 2017.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship ended in superb style this year, with three winners celebrating long after the final weekend’s racing had finished in Indianapolis, USA.

Japan’s Yoshihide Muroya won the race in Indianapolis, 14-15 October 2017, and the overall title of Red Bull Air Race World Champion 2017. Battling poor conditions and wind in Indianapolis that saw many pilots clipping a pylon and adding time penalties, Muroya flew a fast, final round to seize the trophy.

Afterwards he thanked his “fans, family and team” for helping him on his way to victory. “It was the tightest championship ever with four of us close right up until the end,” he said. “We were behind at the start of the season, so it was the long way and the hard way, but we made it.”

In the Challenger Class, Germany’s Florian Bergér won the overall Challenger Cup for the 2017 season. It was his second win in a row, having won the Challenger Cup in 2016 too.

A co-pilot for Lufthansa in his working life, he said he hoped to graduate to the Master Class soon: "My biggest dream is to become a Master Class pilot, and this year I learned a lot. The Challenger Class is a good step to the Master Class."

He added: “My Aerobatic background helps me a lot here in the Red Bull Air Race.”

Also in the Challenger Class, French pilot Melanie Astles became the first woman ever to win a race in the Red Bull Air Race. She scored the fastest time in Qualifying on the Saturday, and when the Challenger Cup race was cancelled due to bad weather on the Sunday, that meant she took the win.

Afterwards she said: “I am so proud. I have seen a lot of girls out there who dream of becoming a race pilot. When I was a young girl I dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot, but I could not because it was not allowed, so I am very pleased to be opening this door.”

FAI President Frits Brink was on hand to award FAI medals to new Red Bull Air Race World Champion Yoshihide Muroya. He presented FAI medals to the top three pilots on the podium: Yoshihide Muroya (1), Martin Sonka (2) and Pete McCleod (3).

The FAI President said: “It is an honour to be here in Indianapolis, among such expert pilots. The Red Bull Air Race truly does represent the very best of our sports. Congratulations to Yoshihide Muroya, and all the pilots in this year’s World Championship.”

FAI and Red Bull Air Race

FAI and Red Bull Air Race World Championship signed an agreement including the provision of FAI medals especially designed for the Red Bull Air Race, the inclusion of all races in the FAI Events Calendar, and the official approval by the FAI of the race Rules & Regulations. Furthermore, the FAI provides a safety delegate who attends all events to supervise safety aspects.