Red Bull Air Race 2016: Matthias Dolderer clinches Championship win
Over 62,000 fans witnessed pilot Matthias Dolderer write new motorsport history on 1–2 October 2016, as the German won the Red Bull Air Race debut at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and clinched his first World Championship – and the first for Germany – in the process.
With the eighth and final race of the season still to go, 2014 World Champion Nigel Lamb was second, and North America’s own Pete McLeod earned the third spot on the coveted Indy podium.
Dolderer, who had been looking for this moment across five seasons, dominated the 2016 standings from his career-first win in April. The Indianapolis crowd held their breath when the only pilot with a chance to overtake the German this season – Australia’s Matt Hall Racing – made it into the Final 4. But when the Australian hit a pylon in his all-out charge, the title was Dolderer’s to lose, and his time of 1:03:335 secured the crown. While Hall was disappointed, his make-or-break effort was enough to confirm that he will clinch the second step of the World Championship podium in Las Vegas.
“It’s amazing. We worked really hard for it and the dream came true,” said an elated Dolderer, who is the first pilot ever to claim the World Championship before the season finale. “There are so many emotions it’s hard to keep them under control. Thanks to my family, the fans, everyone here in Indianapolis, and my team – I have the best team in the world.”
In the Challenger Class race earlier on Sunday, Luke Czepiela took the first win of his Red Bull Air Race career, and the first ever for his native Poland.
Photo: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool