Kevin Coleman burst onto the scene in his first Challenger Cup season, taking three second place finishes and one race win, which was enough to see him finish third overall.
Coleman is not only the first American ever to compete in the Challenger Cup, but he's also one of the youngest pilots to compete in the series. Coleman began performing in air shows at the age of 18 and earned a spot on the US Advanced Aerobatic Team that competes at the FAI World Aerobatic Championships. Racing is the next advancement in building an already impressive skillset.
A native of Louisiana, Coleman comes from a family of air show pilots, and he was just a few weeks old when he first saw his dad perform. He started lessons in flying and aerobatics at the age of 10, with American aviation legend and Aerobatic Hall of Fame member Marion Cole as his teacher. Coleman soloed on his 16th birthday in both a Cessna 150 and a 180-horsepower Super Decathlon. He followed his Private Pilot's Licence with a Commercial Licence two years later. He worked as a flightline technician while earning a bachelor's degree in aviation management from Louisiana Tech University, then promptly launched his full-time aviation career.
Coleman was recognised as the highest placing debutant at the 2007 US aerobatic championship, and the next year he clinched third place at the same event. He performs at air shows across the United States and is also a contract pilot in addition to continuing his competitive career in aerobatics – and now entering the world of racing. So far Coleman has accumulated more than 1,600 hours of flying time, while on the ground his passion is the Marion Cole Memorial Scholarship, which he founded to assist young people interested in aviation.
On joining the ranks of the Red Bull Air Race, Coleman said: "I have grown up watching Red Bull Air Race. In 2003 when it started I was 13, and was instantly in love with the concept. From that point forward I always told people that I hoped to be a Red Bull Air Race pilot someday, and now here we are. It is quite literally a childhood dream come true."