Cristian Bolton is the first Chilean to fly in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Even before his Master Class debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016, the decorated former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel had made history as a member of the Challenger Class by becoming the first Latin American pilot to claim a Red Bull Air Race podium.
The son of an aviator, Bolton dreamed of being a pilot from childhood. He signed up for the Chilean Air Force at 18 and became an elite fighter pilot, flying a variety of aircraft across several squadrons, earning honours such as the Top Gun Award and becoming Chief Instructor at Chile’s Air Force Academy and Tactical Fighter School.
Bolton took his dream to a new level as a member of the prestigious Escuadrilla de Alta Acrobacia Halcones (“Falcons”) aerobatic demo team, finishing his military career of more than two decades as the team’s Squadron Commander and Leader.
A Certified Flight Instructor who teaches aerobatics in Chile and the USA, Bolton is recognised by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as the top Chilean aerobatic pilot and is also one of the leading Unlimited aerobatic show performers in Latin America. He holds advanced degrees in engineering, military aeronautics and human resources, and he has logged well over 4,600 hours in a variety of aircraft.
Bolton got his chance to try racing when the Challenger Class debuted in 2014, and he captured eight Challenger Class podiums, including two wins, as well as third place for the Challenger Cup 2015.
As standby pilot for the Master Class, Bolton was called up to the World Championship for the final two stops of 2016 before taking on his first full season in 2017 and achieving two advancements into the Round of 8. In 2018 Bolton had his best overall points tally and race results yet, flying to sixth place at Budapest and fifth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I’m so happy to work with my team, and it’s like a dream to be part of this unique motorsport,” Bolton declares. “I'm proud to represent my country as the first Chilean in this competition, and I feel a huge sense of responsibility and pride in representing Latin America. Our aim is to be steadily more competitive and eventually to start winning races, and for sure we are going to do it.”