Bergér’s long-term goals
At last weekend’s season opener in Abu Dhabi Florian Bergér blew away his rivals by topping every single timesheet. But despite his dominating performances, he had close competition from the other Challengers.
On Race Day he knocked Melanie Astles into second place by 0.346s, but if she hadn’t picked up a penalty for an over-G, it would have been Astles standing on top of the podium.
This win for Bergér puts him joint top in all-time Challenger Class race wins alongside Daniel Ryfa, with both claiming seven victories each. It’s a fantastic achievement, but Bergér is just happy that the season has started.
“I had so much time in the track and this is what I want to do,” Bergér said, before he went onto discuss the race. “It was so exciting because Melanie set a very good time and put a lot of pressure on me, but in the end I managed to calm down and relax a little bit before I went into the track and it worked out,” he explained.
The margins between the Challenger Class pilots' times is getting tighter and tighter. 2019 sees the biggest field of Challengers with 12 pilots, three of which are new and already in the hunt. All six pilots racing in Abu Dhabi were separated by less than 0.9s in Qualifying – and as such, Bergér knows it’s going to be a tough season. “I’m in the hunt for the big trophy in the end, but it’s a bit early to talk about it,” he said. “All the Challenger pilots are very good and Sammy [Mason], the new guy, did a very good job. Also, I would say Luke was a bit unlucky, so don’t forget him or the other pilots.”
With two titles and seven race wins to his name, questions are coming quick and fast about Bergér’s thought on moving up to the Master Class. “I would say we have a lot of fun in the Challenger Class right now as well, because we’re flying stock planes and it’s pilot against pilot. There are no modifications,” Bergér said. "But I feel very ready to step up into the Master Class and race against the great pilots,” the German pilot concluded.