San Diego 2017 Reactions: Challenger Cup

What a race! The Challengers shone in the California sunshine

Bergér congratulated by Chiang

With the sun beating down on the San Diego track, the Challengers were the first out there today. They put on a race that will live long in the memory of any motorsport fan. Here are the pilots with the final word on the Challenger Class race...

1st Florian Bergér
"This was my first win outside Europe, so I'm really happy. This is a special place – I saw the videos of the previous San Diego races long before I was in the Red Bull Air Race and always wanted to race here. And now a win? It's perfect. It was quite a technical track and anything was possible; yesterday I was fourth in Qualifying and even the new pilots were in front of me, so today I was very nervous. But it all went well!"

2nd Kevin Coleman
"It was good in the track today, just like yesterday. We learned a lot yesterday in Qualifying and we brought that through today. I was giving Flo half a second in the Vertical Turn and I couldn't catch him. I'm glad I've got the monkey off my back of flying well in the US, and now I'm looking forward to the next race."

3rd Luke Czepiela
"My confidence has grown a little bit through the week, but I'm not very happy with the time. I'm still quite far off, like three seconds off Florian, and I don't think it was all about the lines – I think I'm still being too rough on the controls. So after I do more flying back home, I think I'm going to kick ass at my next race in Budapest."

4th Daniel Genevey
"The racetrack is really impressive, it was hard for me to find my lines, but I flew safely and felt comfortable in the raceplane. It's a great start for me and I hope to perform better at my next race."

5th Baptiste Vignes
"It was really fun out there, but I made a mistake. I need to watch back what happened and learn why it happened as well. But it was a great week."

6th Kenny Chiang
"I'm obviously a little disappointed, but it's my first race. It was my goal to finish the race cleanly, I failed to do that but it's a lesson learned. Everything is still new to me, I would like more time in the track and I'm looking forward to the next round."