Florian Bergér was crowned the 2016 Challenger Cup Champion at the Red Bull Air Race season finale in Las Vegas – the first German ever to earn the title. Sweden's Daniel Ryfa took second-place honours, with the USA's own Kevin Coleman in third.
The Challenger Cup should be a winner-takes-all race at the last stop of the year, but when high winds forced the Race Committee to cancel the day's Challenger flights, the title result was based on points.
"The strong wind today has resulted in the Race Committee taking the decision to cancel the Challenger Cup Final. Safety is our utmost priority," said Race Director Steve Jones.
It's been a breakthrough year for Bergér in the Challenger Class. The German earned his maiden win at April's race stop in Spielberg, Austria and celebrated his first home victory at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz in September, with consistency throughout the season that put him at the top of the standings.
While Ryfa and Coleman were tied in the overall points, the two 2016 race wins of the more experienced Ryfa to a single victory for newcomer Coleman served as the tiebreaker. All six competitors invited to the Final at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – who also included Luke Czepiela of Poland, Ben Murphy of Great Britain and the first woman in the history of the sport, Mélanie Astles of France – earned one or more podiums in the 2016 season.
2016 Challenger Cup final standings