Polish pilot Luke Czepiela took the first win of his season by seeing off seven other Challengers in in the rescheduled Chiba race that took place in Kazan today.
Czepiela flew fifth in today's race and had a clear idea of what he needed to do to take the win. When he set the time of 1:07.091 he knew it was going to be tight, especially with Kevin Coleman and Daniel Ryfa to fly after him. Coleman clipped a pylon at Gate 4 and he knew his time wouldn't be good enough to win. He seemed to slow down in the track, which saw him bottom of the timesheet.
Last to fly was Daniel Ryfa, and the pilot most likely to beat Luke's time. He passed the Finish Gate in 1:05.190, which would've seen him easily win, but the judges said he had passed through Gate 14 at an incorrect level and was given a two second penalty, which pushed him down into second place.
Ben Murphy, who hasn't raced since the season opener five months ago, put in a time that he thought would be easily beaten, but it was enough and the British pilot saw himself on the podium in third position.
New pilot Daniel Genevey flew exceptionally well and missed out on the podium by just 0.152s, but that will give him huge confidence going forward. Just behind Genevey was Melanie Astles, who was fastest in this morning's session, but a pylon hit at Gate 4 saw her down in fifth.
Baptiste Vignes was sixth after a clean run, and Kenny Chiang was in seventh after a pylon hit, again at Gate 4.
After the race it was declared that Chiang was to be disqualified due to a technical infraction. An official statement said: The Race Committee has taken the decision to disqualify Kenny Chiang for a Technical Infraction found after the Challenger Cup race on Saturday 22 July in Kazan, Russia. This is in accordance with rule OM A 188.8.131.52.
Challenger Cup rescheduled Chiba race results
Challenger Cup current standings