Thom Richard Wins First Round of 2015 Air Race 1 World Cup

Photo: Air Race 1/Jane Jarvis

Long time Reno Air Race pilot Thom Richard won the first round of the Air Race 1 World Cup this weekend, flying his Formula One airplane Hot Stuff around the course at the Monastir Habib Bourguba International Airport in Tunisia.

Richard's win didn't come easy, however. Hot Stuff's engine was overheating in the qualifying round, forcing Richard to pull out, which put him in a compromised position in the semi-final round. However, after a very strong finish he qualified in the pole position for the finals and took home the gold. Jay Jones and Mike Mundell, both from the U.S., came in second and third respectively.

"It was a hard fought contest on an unfamiliar circuit in a demanding new environment," said Richard, who averaged more than 200 knots around the course. "It was particularly special to win in front of the enthusiastic new fans in Tunisia who really made the difference in ensuring a successful event and an exciting race."

The Air Race 1 World Cup was the first Formula One air race to take place on the African continent.

Richard, who is originally from Sweden but now lives in Kissimmee, Florida, has for many years been racing Formula One, Jet and Unlimited airplanes at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.

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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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