The Challenger Class was set up to develop and hone Air Racing skills for the future of the sport and to develop younger pilots to become future World Champions.
Florian Bergér joined the series in 2015 and began impressing the Race Committee almost instantly. He finished fourth in his first race and made other people take notice. He claimed a podium in only his second race and finished his first season fifth overall.
In 2016 he began to shine, claiming another third in the season opener. Then at a snowy Spielberg he collected the first win of his career. From then on he was unstoppable, winning the Challenger Cup by just two points over his great friend and rival, Daniel Ryfa.
This year he finished every race in first or second, apart from Indianapolis, where he had to settle for fourth. However, by winning the Challenger Cup twice he has made history by being the first pilot ever to do so. "This was a great season for me. I was on the podium in every race and I've now won the whole thing back-to-back," said Bergér. "I was disappointed that we weren't able to race at Indianapolis, it's a magical place for motorsport, but overall I'm very happy to be on the top spot of the podium."
So the big question for Bergér is, does he see himself becoming the Red Bull Air Race World Champion? "My biggest dream is to become a Master Class pilot, I'm working on it every year and learning more and more, this year I learned a lot about my lines. The Challenger Class is a big step to the Master Class," he concluded.
Time will tell if we see Bergér in the Master Class – but he's on the right path.