Big Upset at Red Bull Air Race in Austria

A new winner is crowned on challenging course.

Hannes Arch Red Bull Air Race
Local favorite Hannes Arch flew an error-free race in Spielberg but placed second.Andreas Langreiter/Red Bull

The 2016 Red Bull Air Race continued this weekend in Spielberg, Austria, at the challenging Red Bull Ring racetrack, which presented additional challenges this year with snow, rain and high winds. With the margins of error of this fast-paced, twisting course being extremely narrow, mistakes are easily made. And they were. Last year’s Red Bull Air Race champion, Australian Matt Hall, failed to make it to the final round of four and landed in fifth place.

In the end, German race-pilot Matthias Dolderer snagged his first win from local favorite Austrian Hannes Arch. Both Dolderer and Arch flew error-free races; however, Dolderer was 0.340 seconds faster, at 56.996 seconds. After only two races completed in the 2016 Red Bull Air Race series, Dolderer also leads the pack overall. British pilot Nigel Lamb put in a solid performance in Spielberg and ended up in third place, only a hair behind Arch. Canadian Pete McLeod also flew an error-free race and finished fourth.

American race pilots Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian both had a decent day and added points to their overall tallies. Chambliss finished in sixth place and Goulian 10th, putting them fifth and ninth overall so far.

Next up is the race in Chiba, Japan, set to take place June 4 and 5.