Kopfstein Is Back On Track

The Czech pilot is finally ready to take on 2019

At the end of the 2018 season Team Spielberg had made it clear that it needed a new engine for its Edge 540 V3. The engine was fitted in the offseason before being shipped to Abu Dhabi for the season opener. 

All was going to schedule for Petr Kopfstein and Team Spielberg, but a landmark visit to the UAE by Pope Francis meant a change-up in the flying schedule, and Kopfstein was unable to run his engine properly. This hindered Kopfstein over the race weekend, as the Czech pilot had to hold back from pushing as hard in the racetrack as he would have liked. 

Post-Abu Dhabi, the raceplanes were shipped to Europe. In the period after the season opener, the teams are able to work on their raceplanes, before they’re moved on for Race 2. It's given Team Spielberg the chance to finally finish what should have been their preseason work. “We recently brought the aeroplane back to our home base to finally break in the new engine,” explained Kopfstein. “I'm currently flying a lot of cross-country flights with my Edge 540 V3 and I feel that engine will be ready to rumble soon. We didn't have enough time before Abu Dhabi race, but we will make it up this time.” 

So with the engine up and running, thoughts move on to other mods that the team can now make. Kopfstein and his team are always keen to implement new technologies and advancements in tech. They were the first to use the latest version of Shark Skin, and it seems that early in 2019, they're already on the same path – but not letting any secrets out. “We have planned modifications for this period and they are in full swing. I strongly believe that we will come stronger and faster already to Race 2,” explained Kopfstein. 

After a fantastic 2017 season where he finished fifth overall, Kopfstein struggled to find consistent form last year, ultimately finishing ninth in the first five races of the season.  For 2019, he is looking forward to getting back to his best and turning performance into podium places. “My goal is to reach consistent results in the first half of the field as in 2017, and step up again on the podium. We are catching up with the mods and the raceplane is getting competitive again. The team is complete and we feel that the best is yet to come,” he concluded. 

Related articles

The Red Bull Air Race Says Thank You

The pilots and members of the Race Committee offer their thanks
Read full article

The Red Bull Air Race Hall Of Fame

The all-time most successful pilots of the Red Bull Air Race
Read full article

Talking Stats: The Red Bull Air Race In Numbers

Across 14 seasons of red-hot rivalries, these 10 stats stand out
Read full article
Related Pilots
Master Class Master Class


 Czechia CZE
Current ranking Ranking
Race wins this year Race wins
Seasons completed Seasons
Last year ranking Last yr. ranking