The British competitor – and Pilot contributor – has won the championship for the first time following a nail-biting final in Austria.
The 2014 Red Bull Air Race championship went all the way to the wire, Nigel’s Lamb’s second-place finish in the final event at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on 26 October putting him nine points ahead of his nearest rival, Hannes Arch. Racing in front of his home crowd, Arch had looked to be the man to beat all through qualifying but it was French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff who set fastest time where it mattered, in the Final Four round. Nigel was just under six-tenths of a second behind, but any prospect of winning the championship slipped from Arch’s grasp when he collected a two-second penalty for failing to pass through one of the gates wings-level, dropping him to fourth place.
Championship leaders Lamb and Paul Bonhomme, and local favourite Arch had arrived in Spielberg seperated by just six points. 2013 champion Bonhomme dropped out of contention when he failed to make the cut for the Final Four round, in which Lamb needed to finish third or better to beat his rival to the world championship.
“It’s an amazing feeling… a great day… an indescribable feeling,” commented an emotional Nigel Lamb.
Red Bull Air Race Spielberg Final Four Results
1. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 0:57.468 seconds
2. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 0:58.052
3. Martin Sonka (CZE) 0:59.704
4. Hannes Arch (AUT) 0:59.839
Red Bull Air Race Championship 2014 Final Standings
1. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 62 points
2. Hannes Arch (AUT) 53
3. Paul Bonhomme (GBR) 51
4. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 42
5. Pete McLeod (CAN) 38
6. Matt Hall (AUS) 33
7. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 21
8. Martin Sonka (CZE) 18
9. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 10
10. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 7