Sweden swipes win away from France in Cannes

Daniel Ryfa beat Baptiste Vignes in a nail-biting encounter

Ryfa in flight

Daniel Ryfa overcame some technical issues to take the win in the first ever Challenger Class Red Bull Air Race in France.

Just before Ryfa was about to fly his #2 Edge 540 it was grounded due to technical issues and he had to swap into the #1 plane at the last minute and overcome the pressue of racing in a plane he hadn't flown before.

But the ice-cool Swede, who was flying last and knew the time he had to beat, kept a cool head and posted a 1:04.426.

Vignes, who claimed second place at his home race, flew first and set the time of 1:04.858, 0.432s slower than Ryfa, for the other five pilots to beat. None of them could manage it as they all picked up penalties chasing his time.

Dario Costa posted a time of 1:05.157, which included a two second penalty for incorrect level flying. However, it was enough for him to make history by finishing third in only his second race and collecting the first ever podium for Italy!

Home race pilot Melanie Astles collected a two second penalty for an over-G, which gave her a time of 1:06.390. She was annoyed because her 0.1g over the limit cost her a win in her home country.

New Challenger Patrick Davidson clipped a pylon which saw him finish fifth. He too was angry as it was his first penalty of the weekend.

Daniel Genevey had a terrible run, clipping pylons at Gates 4, 6 and 8. The rules state that three pylon hits in a run will result in a DNF – which is a first in Challenger Cup history. This saw him finish last in the race.

The results see Daniel Ryfa top of the leaderboard on 12 points, Dario Costa is joint second on 10 points with current champion Florian Bergér and Vignes moves up to fourth.

Cannes 2018 Challenger Cup Results

Challenger Cup standings