Ready for take-off: “Red Bull Air Race – The Game” pilots are flying to the Grand Finale in Las Vegas!

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Ready for take-off: “Red Bull Air Race – The Game” pilots are flying to the Grand Finale in Las Vegas! 

Salzburg, Austria – October 16, 2015 The finalists of the Red Bull Air Race Virtual Championship 2015 are set, five courageous pilots emerged victorious in the qualifiers. Now, an all-inclusive-trip to the season finale of the real championship in Las Vegas awaits the finalists. Of course they will also fight it out for the title of „Virtual World Champion“. The price includes an official trophy, a meet & greet with the real champion and a G-flight in an original Red Bull Air Race plane!

But who are the lucky winners of the qualifying races? Here are more details on the five finalists and a sneak peak of what awaits them on October 17 and 18, 2015 in the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, USA: 

Aleksandr Ivanikov (Russia): 55,816 seconds in Chiba

34-year old Aleksandr Ivanikov secured the first ticket for the Virtual World Championship in Red Bull Air Race – The Game. Aleksandr is an occasional gamer and mainly loves action games, though right now he is all about Red Bull Air Race – The Game. He first caught the virtual race bug in January 2015, since then, the engineer is fascinated by the different levels of difficulty and the smart ambience. He’ll be training vigorously until the Virtual World Championship finale. He already has a specific strategy: „Most importantly: don’t oversleep“, because his dream is to win. In real life, the Russian loves racing action as well, since 2004 he occasionally sits in the cockpit, which is why his biggest wish is finding a sponsor to participate in the actual Red Bull Air Race, like his biggest idol Svetlana Kapanina. Until then, the 34-year old is looking forward to a terrific finale and wishes good look to all his competitors. 

Daniel Hable (Austria): 46.151 seconds in Rovinj

During the second qualifying race, Daniel from Lower Austria led the field. The occasional mobile gamer turns serious during a competition. The trained carpenter prefers playing in the evenings. When the first mobile version of Red Bull Air Race – The Game was released in 2014, Daniel became an instant racing fan and started competing online against other players. Measuring up against others is the biggest appeal to him. Equally appealing is the Las Vegas race course, his all-time-favorite. To ensure nothing goes wrong during the Grand Finale, the 26-year old is practicing hard to fly the course as tightly as possible while avoiding crashing into the pylons. According to Daniel, there is no secret trick to it, it’s a simple case of practice makes perfect. Thrilled by the speed of the sport, the Austrian also follows the real Red Bull Air Race championship. While he has no ambitions to sit behind the cockpit of a real plane, he is still looking forward to an exiting finale. 

Werner Pany (Austria): 57.2332 seconds in Budapest

The second Austrian in the line-up is Werner Pany, who moved up as the second place winner at the race in Hungary. Werner hails from beautiful Tirol and plays whenever he finds the time. Currently, the 35-year old spends around an hour a day on Red Bull Air Race – The Game. „Everything should be enjoyed in moderation“ says the father of two. He started playing Red Bull Air Race – The Game around one and a half years ago. The graphics and the competition to achieve the best times are what fascinated him the most. His favorite tracks are Budapest and Spielberg. At the latter, Werner even won a flight with Austrian stunt flyer Hannes Arch, an immense honor for the self-confessed Arch-Fan, which is why the 35-years has a fairly relaxed attitude towards the finale in Las Vegas. Instead of practicing, Werner focuses on his biggest hobby, stunt flying, and wishes good luck to all participants – the best racer will surely deserve to win. 

Mickael Costa (France): 55.2449 seconds in Spielberg

French Mickael Costa grabbed the win on the cult-track in Spielberg. The passionate gamer from Blois in France loves adventure and is a huge fan of the Zelda-saga. Since he has to concentrate on his university work, the 20-year old usually plays on weekends, but trains on the different race tracks during any downtime between lectures. The real Red Bull Air Race has always been a dream for the Frenchman, which is why he started playing Red Bull Air Race – The Game one and a half years ago. Mickael is especially excited about the atmosphere in Las Vegas. But the 20-year old doesn’t have a specific strategy to emerge as the winner. With aggressive maneuvers and accurate flight through the curves, he will give his all to win – although the fun playing is the most important thing for him. The French student could envision his future career in a cockpit – either as a racing pilot or a stunt flyer. 

Richard Bartelt (Slovakia): 75.5946 seconds in Ascot

The last finalist is Slovakian Richard Bartelt. The 35-year old IT-expert and software developer lives in Bratislava. Outside of his job, Richard only plays mobile games – though not around the clock, instead he prefers to take quick gaming-breaks. An aviation enthusiast through and through, the IT-expert mainly loves games centered around flying. The Slovakian first encountered Red Bull Air Race – The Game in September 2014. His passion for multiplayer games and the opportunity to compete with others drive him to excel on the race track. „But when all eyes are on your competition during a fantastic finale, everything changes“, says Richard. Which is why he doesn’t have a specific strategy or tricks up his sleeve. The most important thing for him is to keep a clear head and deal with the pressure. Until the final race, Richard is still preparing and trying to internalize the race track in his head and his fingers. He wishes all his competitors good luck and may the best pilot win.

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