Exciting Finish in Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya won the last two Red Bull Air Race competitions of the season to become Masters Class World Champion. Red Bull Air Race

After the last Red Bull Air Race competition for the year ended in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the last one of the Air Gates was deflated, Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya stood at the top of the podium as the Masters Class World Champion. Muroya had dropped back in the ranks in the middle of the season with several tough races. But after winning the last two competitions of the season, the Japanese air racer totaled up 74 points, only four points more than second place contestant Martin Sonka from the Czech Republic.

“The race in Indy was very tough,” said Muroya. “With the wind conditions it was so close, anybody could’ve won the World Championship, but we came out on top.” Muroya had a perfect last run, finishing in 1:03:026, beating the Indianapolis track record by more than a second.

American racer Kirby Chambliss had a chance to take home the trophy with two wins in the middle of the race season — Budapest and Kazan. But weak results in the last two competitions put Chambliss barely off the podium, finishing in fourth place with 53 points, three points behind Canadian pilot Pete McLeod. Chambliss had the misfortune of being matched with Muroya in the Round of 8 in Indianapolis, a loss that gave him only one point. Had he been able to get through to the next round, he would have taken home the bronze medal.

Low ceilings and rain ended up canceling the final race in the Challenger Class, which was won by German pilot Florian Bergér, closely followed by Daniel Ryfa from Sweden and Luke Czepiela from Poland. The first female pilot to race in the Red Bull Air Race, Mélanie Astles from France, stood at the top of the podium in the final race, the results of which were based on the times in the qualifying races. Astles finished fifth overall.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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