The first-ever world cup trophy in the sport of formula one air racing has been won by Thom Richard of team Hot Stuff in the final race of the 2015 series in Reno, Nevada on Sunday. Richard, of Sweden, won all three races held in Tunisia, Spain and the USA to achieve this decisive and historic victory in the international title for multiple-plane pylon air racing.
Jay Jones of the USA took second place in the overall series after a consistent performance all season and Steve Temple, also of the USA, rose in the points after early setbacks to claim third overall in the world cup standings, knocking back serious contenders Mike Mundell and Kent Cassels.
Despite Richard’s wins in North Africa and Europe, the world cup trophy was always in contention down to the final event in the USA which was attended by tens of thousands of race fans at the US National Air Racing Championships. The challenges faced by all 20 teams in the Air Race 1 World Cup were immense, being the first time in the 70-year history of the sport that racers had to compete across a series of international races.
The final event was full of drama and gripping action with many passes that kept the spectators guessing about the outcome. The heat races in the days prior that led to the final grid positions were tense and competitive requiring the ground crews to work long into each night on modifications and enhancements to extract every ounce of performance from the race machines.
Richard won the top points in the final race, followed by Justin Phillipson, who was debuting his new airplane “No Strings Attached” that he and his brother built themselves. Philip Goforth had rebuilt his airplane “Knotty Girl” and changed to a new wing design, among other new improvements that helped him edge into third in the Nevada event.
Thom Richard, the overall series winner, said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to be the first champion of the Air Race 1 World Cup. It required a lot of hard work from a lot of skilled people to help keep me and my airplane in top form – but we did it! And it’s been a blast. This series is attracting more elite competitors to the sport of formula one air racing so it will be an even bigger challenge to defend the title next year. I extend a big thanks to all my fans!”
Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race 1, said: “Congratulations to Thom on a well-deserved victory! And congratulations to all the pilots and crews that launched the new world cup of the fastest and most demanding motorsport in the world. Their dedication to this sport is extraordinary and inspiring. The Air Race 1 World Cup has seen thrilling and competitive racing this year and excitement is already building for the future of the sport.”
The grand prize of a formula one air race propeller newly designed by Catto Propellers went to Thom Richard. Official Timekeeper Revue Thommen Swiss Watches granted a luxury watch from its Airspeed Instruments collection to Dave Holmgren, the pilot with the most improved performance during the qualification rounds. And Bigatmo bestowed a pair of its specialist aviator sunglasses on Jason Crawford, the Crew Chief for team Hot Stuff, for leading the team to achieve the fastest lap time.
For full results points please click on the RESULTS PAGE.