Coleman commands the Challenger Cup in Portugal

Kevin Coleman takes the first win of his 2017 season

Coleman in the track

Kevin Coleman yesterday said that he wanted to fly first in today's Challenger Class race as he thought that would give him the best chance of winning – he was proved right when he blitzed along the Douro in the Challenger Cup today and set a time of 1:19.019 for his rivals to beat.

Five more Challengers flew after Coleman but none of them were able to get to the Finish Gate faster than the American, who claimed his second career win today. Current Challenger Champion Florian Bergér was to fly last and although he was faster at the halfway point, he couldn't keep the pace and finished just 0.177s behind Coleman.

Melanie Astles finished third in the race with an impressive time of 1:19.756, the only other pilot to break under the 1:20 mark. Daniel Genevey was fourth with a smooth clean run.

Ben Murphy, now in his second season, collected a penalty at Gate 13 for climbing in the gate. That penalty saw him in fifth, otherwise it would've been a podium finish for him.

Kenny Chiang also picked up a penalty for flying too high in the gate. The two seconds meant he finished last today, which will disappoint the new Challenger after his fantastic win in Kazan back in July.

Coleman's win today pushed the American up to second in the standings, ten points behind Bergér. The pilots will race again in Lausitz to see which six get a place at the season final in Indianapolis

Porto 2017 Challenger Cup results


Challenger Cup standings