A star is born: Hong Kong's very own Kenny Chiang makes Red Bull Air Race history
26th July 2017
Photo Credit: Red Bull Air Race
It may have taken all of four races in his debut season in the competition, but Kenny Chiang took off from the starting line in Kazan like a man on a mission and duly delivered with a time of 1 minute and 07.264 seconds.
A time that proved insurmountable, even for his more seasoned rivals and secured a maiden victory for the promising young pilot in the Red Bull Championship Air Race.
"It feels incredible, unbelievable,” said the 27-year-old, whose previous flying experience includes commercial flights for Cathay Pacific.
"The pressure was immense, and I’m quite surprised and really happy. Congratulations to Baptiste, too – it’s special to see two new Challengers on the podium."
Despite writing himself into the history books as the first Chinese pilot to win a race in the Red Bull Championship, Chiang nonetheless sees room for improvement.
“In this game experience really counts, and maybe I got a little lucky today. I’m just trying to get better and better in the plane.
“It’s still not the perfect lap and I will continue to work on it, but I do think it gives me more momentum.”
While predominantly a specialist in aerobatics who has been in the cockpit of more than 38 types of aircraft, Chiang has now trained his sights on fulfilling his lifelong dream of leaving his mark on the Red Bull Air Race.
"Competitive flying is all about preparation and training. It is imperative to know where the limits are and never exceed your personal and aircraft's limits," Chiang states.
"To be a Challenger Class pilot is a dream come true. The mental preparation is very similar to aerobatics, but the flying discipline is quite different – there will be a lot of work to do."
His work will take him to the scenic Portuguese city of Porto on the 7th of September, where he will hope to replicate his Kazan success once more.