Meet Vito Wyprächtiger
Along with Sammy Mason and Patrick Strasser, Vito Wyprächtiger has also joined the Challenger Class ranks for 2019. Here’s what you need to know about the Swiss pilot...
Although it’s Wyprächtiger's debut season, as a pilot he has a long history with the Air Race. In 2007, whilst also studying, he joined as Team Coordinator for Hannes Arch. “I was getting my technician’s licence, and by the third race of 2008 I became the team technician after I had qualified,” he explained.
During the Air Race's three-year hiatus, Wyprächtiger became a member of the world-famous Flying Bulls. “I joined The Flying Bulls when the Air Race took a break in 2010. I started there as a mechanic and moved into becoming a pilot,” said Wyprächtiger. “When the Air Race came back in 2014, Hannes [Arch] offered me a job. But I was enjoying my time in the Flying Bulls – I was flying some pretty cool aeroplanes. I did do some work on his plane in the background, though.”
Wyprächtiger has also worked as a test pilot for Zivko Aeronautics – the company that makes the Edge 540 – but feels that it doesn’t give him too much of an advantage over other competitors. “I was working for Edge and I spent a lot of time testing the aircraft... in Peter Besenyei’s Edge that he flew in 2015. There are quite a few raceplanes in the sport that I have flown and tested. However, I would say it doesn’t give me that much of an advantage. I have knowledge of how the engine is set up, but they are all great pilots and the Edge is an easy to fly aeroplane, so I don’t think it’ll help,” added Wyprächtiger.
With all this experience and his first race in the Challenger Cup coming up next month, how does Wyprächtiger feel about competing in the Red Bull Air Race for the first time? “We have a training camp in May, which will give me the chance to go through the pylons again, but I’m looking forward to my first race. I can't wait to see what goes on and how it works, and for sure it’ll be nice not to come in last, but I just want to deliver a safe, clean performance,” he concluded.