Dolderer wins Red Bull Air Race in rainy Budapest

History

German Matthias Dolderer won the historic 70th Red Bull Air Race in Budapest Sunday, tightening his grip on the lead in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship by winning an abbreviated race due to extreme weather conditions. Hannes Arch of Austria claimed second, while Australia’s Matt Hall came third.

Hannes Arch of Austria, winner Matthias Dolderer of Germany and Matt Hall of Australia in front of Hungaryʼs Parliament Building.

Due to weather delays, the safe flight window could not accommodate the full racing program, and when the final Round of 4 was canceled, race results were determined by Round of 8 times, organizers said. Despite continuous rain and heavy winds, approximately 20,000 spectators lined up on both banks of the River Danube to watch the landmark race. The event was created by Hungarian Péter Besenyei, often cited as the “godfather” of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, who was not among the racers this weekend following his retirement from the sport last year. 

“It was crazy with the rain and wind. After a penalty in my first flight today, I thought it was just a bad weekend, but then the second flight went really well,” said Dolderer, who also earned the DHL Fastest Lap Award, a component introduced this season that defines a new standard of speed at the Red Bull Air Race. The award has gone to a different pilot in each race this season, with Dolderer, Arch, Hall and Martin Šonka of the Czech Republic each earning the honor.

Due to the weather conditions, the weekend’s Challenger Cup competition was canceled. The Challenger Cup is another element of the Red Bull Air Race, created in 2014 to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills and experience needed for potential advancement to Master Class.

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