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Matthias Dolderer : Red Bull Focus

11/06/2016 | Marie CHRISTOPHE

Matthias Dolderer : Red Bull Focus
© Photo : Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool
He didn’t need to wait for the end of the Championship to be crowned : Matthias Dolderer became number 1 of the famous Red Bull Air Race in Indianapolis on October 2nd.

Portrait of a determined pilot.

46 years old and already 32 years of experience. If Matthias was not born with wings, it certainly seems so. Owner and manager of the Aerodrome of Tannheim, approximately thirty miles away from München in Germany, where he flew his first flights . Created by his parents, the airfield saw Matthias’ evolution throughout his teenage years. Finally, being of legal age, his licence and other qualifications in hand, he flew more than 125 machines (planes or helicopters). North American T-6, Fieseler Storch, Stampe, Antonov AN-2, Stearman Boeing, Yak 50/52, Cessnas, Pipers etc. … his preference being the Corsair F4U, the one that Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington flew with, and the Edge 540, machine with which he shares his victory this season.

The German pilot has thought of the Air Race for years: " I dreamed about it since the beginning. I had seen the first race in 2003 and I wanted at once to participate as a pilot. I have never given up and I joined the Championship in 2009." And seven years later, he becomes number one.

Proud of his trophy, he underlines to what extent to win the competition in Indianapolis meant a lot to him : " for me, for the team, for my / our trust in ourselves. I wanted to win the first race ever in Indy and I was particularly confident: I knew that I was going to do it. Everything went smoothly and it worked. Winning in Indy was purely extraordinary. And if you ask him for the kind of feelings he felt when the announcement of his victory was made, he exults: " All of them! Joy, the fulfillment, the confirmation that working hard pays... In fact, the emotion is indescribable! "

This success is not actually the luck of the draw . " We worked a lot since 2009, many things were different, aircraft were modified, teams were modified, and the pilot was modified also ! My mental power is much stronger than before" adds Matthias. "During the winter, I continue to train physically and mentally. There is also a lot of organization and planning to be made for 2017. I am very very busy. "

Busy but also concentrated, whatever the context. This year, the Championship will have actually taken a bend. The fatal accident of Hannes Arch aboard a helicopter during a private flight, and Nigel

Lamb's retirement, one of the symbolic actors of the competition, change from now on the face of the Red Bull Air Race. Without being indifferent to these events, Matthias explains how he stays the course : "Life is also to respect, to accept, to forgive and to live. Never stop. When I am in the cockpit, nothing else matters than my plane and I."

Alternately instructor, organizer (with her sister Verena) of the meeting " Tannkosh " for almost 20 years, Flying Bulls’ pilot, champion of acrobatics, Matthias didn’t stop practicing in this aircraft sector where he feels like a duck takes to water. But today, there’s nothing but the Red Bull Air Race. When you ask him what he dreams of for the future , the Champion answers: "Defending my title next year! I think of nothing else except staying safe and healthy to defend it".

So, let’s meet up next February, to find Matthias Dolderer, but also Matt Hall, Nicolas Ivanoff and the eleven other gladiators of the airs …

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