Fans at the Texas Motor Speedway watched as the Challenger Cup pilots flew through a wind-filled racetrack, with half the field receiving a mix of DNF and DQ results. But it was France's Mika Brageot who held his nerve to take his first ever win in front of 20,000 motorsport enthusiasts.
Stopping the clock on his first run in 1:05.870 including 2 seconds for a pylon hit at Gate 7, Brageot may have benefited from flying first into the racetrack as winds increased througout the race. The 27-year-old was elated to pick up maximum points, in what will be his final race of the 2014 season. "I'm so overwhelmed," he said. "The wind was so strong and Gate 3 was really tricky but we quickly understood what we had to do in the track and I did it! I want to be up there with the Masters. This is a big step forward, and if I continue to do my best and focus then I can be up there."
Chilean competitor Cristian Bolton joined Brageot on the podium in Fort Worth and collects his first Challenger Cup points of the season, putting him neck and neck with Luke Czepiela on 8 points overall. "I'm so happy, especially because in my first races I came last," said Bolton. "But the good thing is I kept improving. Today was the really, really tough to fly. The wind out there completely changed from last week, but I did it. This was the closest I have to a home race and I have a lot of fans here, so just for that it was really special."
In third place, and staying in 2nd place overall is Daniel Ryfa from Sweden. "I'm very excited to be second place overall," said the pilot. "This was my fourth race and that's it for me this season. Now I just have to wait to see what's going to happen in Las Vegas, and whether I will go to the grand finale in Spielberg – but it certainly looks like it."
Overall Challenger Cup standings can be found here.
Here are the detailed results from today's Challenger Cup: