Challenger title wide open

After seven stops, for the Challengers it comes down to one last race for the title…

Bergér and Ryfa

It's tight at the top of the Challenger Class standings. It's been a long testing season for the pilots of the second tier of the Red Bull Air Race. The Challengers have had to cope with new raceplanes and new locations, and now the top six have one last hurdle in their attempt to be crowned the 2018 Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class Champion.

And it's tense! Only eight points separate first and sixth place, and depending how the cards fall any of the pilots can become champion.

Florian Bergér is sitting on top with 28 points, with the title his to throw away. The German already has two Challenger Cup titles to his name and not finishing lower than second all season, he's the favourite to make it a hat-trick of titles – but Bergér has got a fight on his hands. If he wins in Fort Worth, Bergér will become Challenger Cup Champion. Anything less than first place, and the Challenger crown could go elsewhere.

Kenny Chiang and Luke Czepiela are both in possession of 26 points, and in the hunt for their first title. If Chiang is fastest on Race Day he will be champion, taking his season's tally to three wins. If Czepiela wins in Fort Worth, he will need Bergér to finish third or lower to take the title.

Kevin Coleman and Baptiste Vignes both sit in joint fourth on 24 points and need the results of the top three to go their way. If Coleman wins he needs Bergér to finish fourth or lower, and for Chiang and Czepiela to finish lower than second. For Vignes, if he wins, he needs the same outcomes as Coleman.

Swedish pilot Daniel Ryfa currently has 20 points. If he wins in Fort Worth, he needs the other pilots to fail to record a time and finish in the bottom of the timesheets in the race. See how all the permutations will play out in Fort Worth...

If Florian Bergér finished:
1st – Challenger Cup Champion
2nd – Challenger Cup Champion if Chiang doesn't win (Chiang will be champion due more race wins)
3rd – Challenger Cup Champion if Chiang or Czepiela don't win
4th – Challenger Cup Champion if Chiang or Czepiela don't finish first or second, or Coleman or Vignes doesn't win
5th – Challenger Cup Champion if Chiang or Czepiela don't finish 1st – 3rd, or Coleman or Vignes doesn't finish 1st or 2nd
6th – Challenger Cup Champion if Chiang or Czepiela don't finish 1st – 4th, Coleman or Vignes don't finish 1st – 3rd, Ryfa doesn't win – this outcome is near impossible as a lot of the other pilots would need to be DQ'd and not score an points

If Kenny Chiang finishes:
1st – Challenger Cup Champion
2nd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér or Czepiela don't win
3rd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 4th, Czepiela doesn't finish 1st – 2nd, Coleman or Vignes don't win
4th – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 5th, Czepiela doesn't finish 1st – 3rd, Coleman or Vignes don't finish 1st – 2nd, Ryfa doesn't win
5th – can't be Challenger Cup Champion

If Luke Czepiela finishes:
1st – Challenger Cup Champion – If Bergér doesn't finish second
2nd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 3rd, Chiang or Coleman don't win
3rd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 4th, Chiang doesn't finish 1st – 2nd, Coleman doesn't finish 1st-2nd or Vignes don't win
4th - Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 5th, Chiang doesn't finish 1st – 3rd, Coleman or Vignes don't finish 1st– 2nd, Ryfa doesn't win
5th – can't be Challenger Champion

If Kevin Coleman finishes:
1st – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 2nd – 3rd, Chiang and Czepiela don't finish 2nd
2nd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 4th, Chiang doesn't finish 1st – 3rd, Czepiela or Vignes don't win
3rd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 5th, Chiang doesn't finish 1st – 4th, Czepiela doesn't finish 1st-4th, Vignes doesn't finish 1st – 2nd, Ryfa doesn't win
4th – can't be Challenger Champion

If Baptiste Vignes finishes:
1st – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 2nd – 3rd, Chiang and Czepiela don't finish 2nd
2nd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 4th, Chiang doesn't finish 1st – 3rd, Czepiela doesn't finish 1st-3rd, Coleman doesn't win
3rd – Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 1st – 5th, Chiang doesn't finish 1st – 4th, Czepiela doesn't finish 1st-4th, Coleman doesn't finish 1st – 2nd, Ryfa doesn't win
4th – can't be Challenger Champion

If Daniel Ryfa finishes:
1st - Challenger Cup Champion if Bergér doesn't finish 2nd – 5th, Chiang doesn't finish 2nd – 4th, Czepiela doesn't finish 2nd or 3rd, Coleman or Vignes don't finish 2nd
2nd – can't be Challenger Champion