U.S. Pilots Dominate Air Race 1 World Cup

California’s Tim Cone was the big winner at the Air Race 1 World Cup in Pattaya, Thailand. Lloyd Horgan

After a weekend of heart-pumping air racing at the U-Tapao Naval Air Base in Pattaya, Thailand, the American pilots dominated the Air Race 1 World Cup. Cassutt racer Tim Cone from Fresno, California stood at the top of the podium as the winner, flying Race #99 named “What Airplane Honey” after his wife found out about the Cassutt when he was shown flying it on TV.

The final Gold race was a full on battle. Cone, who started in first place after winning the semi-finals, dropped down to third place at the start of the race, behind #79, “No Strings Attached,” flown by fellow Californian Justin Phillipson, and #69, “Knotty Girl,” flown by Texan pilot Philip Goforth. But Cone fought to come back and passed the finish line in first place, just ahead of Goforth.

Swedish pilot Thom Richard, who won the last official race in Lleida, Spain, finished in fourth place after an exciting battle with third place contester Phillipson. During an accident in Reno in 2016, Richard's winning airplane "Hot Stuff" was damaged as it was hit during the simultaneous takeoff. Richard, who was not planning on competing, was flying a Cassutt named "Outrageous." The airplane belongs to British pilot Yves Clarke, who owns the airplane and handed the controls to Richard after he was unable to qualify.

Eight Formula One airplanes compete simultaneously around a closed course in the Air Race 1 World Cup. A total of 18 teams competed this year. The Silver Final was also won by an American – Swaid Rahn of Springfield, Georgia.

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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