Meet the Challengers: Daniel Ryfa

All you need to know about the Swedish pilot

Ryfa on his way to his sixth career win in Lausitz

Daniel Ryfa holds many accolades in the Challenger Cup. He is the longest serving pilot. He has more wins than any other Challenger and he could go on to win the Challenger Cup in Indianapolis next month.

Daniel Ryfa is Sweden's top aerobatic pilot and has claimed European, Nordic and national championships. In the Challenger Cup he has been one of the most successful. Since 2014 he has raced 20 times and ended up on the podium 80% of the time. Including six wins – the most of any Challenger since the series began.

Ryfa discovered his passion for aviation as a two-year-old. He began flying gliders at 14 and earned his pilot's licence while still a teenager, quickly developing an interest in aerobatics. In his first aerobatics competition, the 2005 Nordic Championship, he captured second place, and went on to win the European Advanced Aerobatic Championship in 2009.

Formerly a commercial airline pilot, Ryfa now works as a captain flying private jets worldwide. He's a popular pilot in air shows internationally, whether he's behind the controls of a modern Sukhoi Su26 or one of the vintage aircraft that he builds, like a British fighter biplane and a record-setting monoplane from the early 1900s.

Ryfa took to racing immediately in 2014, clinching second place at the season opener in Abu Dhabi. Three more podiums followed that year, but 2015 was his breakthrough, as he scored his first two wins. He followed up with another strong season including an additional two wins in 2016. In total the Swedish pilot has accumulated 12 race podiums and has been in the top three overall points every season.

This year he has the best chance to win the title. He is currently second in the standings and all he needs to do is beat his good friend and rival Florian Bergér. If he finishes ahead of the German pilot he'll be crowned the 2017 Challenger Cup Champion.

Ryfa will be going for the win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on 14-15 October. Get your tickets HERE.