Nigel Lamb Takes Red Bull Air Race Trophy After Dramatic Finale

British aerobatic champion tops leaderboard.

Red Bull Air Race Nigel Lamb

Red Bull Air Race Nigel Lamb

This weekend's final Red Bull Air Race World Championship, which took place in Spielberg, Austria, ended with a big victory for Great Britain. While French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff won the final competition — his second win of the season — the champion's trophy went to Nigel Lamb of England flying a bright yellow, Breitling-branded MXS-2 built by North Wilkesboro, North Carolina-based MX Aircraft.

While Lamb won only one race throughout the eight-race series, he finished second in five events, ending up with a total score of 62 points. Austria's Hannes Arch, who was the crowd favorite and had the potential to win, finished fourth in Sunday's race to take second place overall with 53 points. This is the third time in a row Arch has finished second behind a Brit, having lost to Paul Bonhomme during the past two championships. Bonhomme finished third, just two points behind Arch.

At 58 years old, Lamb is at the peak of an impressive flying career, which started in the Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) Air Force. Lamb, who was born in Rhodesia, moved to England in 1980. Since then he has worked as an aerobatic display pilot and has won the British National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship eight consecutive times.

Lamb plans to return to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship next year, but he recognizes the fine margins that make the races so exciting. "Next year will be very challenging since nine pilots have been on the podium out of 12, and next year 14," Lamb said. "But I still have a good team, a good plane, and hope to maintain the consistency. It really is teamwork that makes the success at the end of the season."

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