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Pilot Matthias Dolderer made history at the second stop of the 2016 #redbullairraceworldchampionship on 24 April 2016, when he claimed the first-ever race win for Germany (not to mention the first of his own career). Dolderer’s dominance on that snowy Sunday at the Red Bull Ring puts him at the top of the overall leaderboard, and it puts him in the spotlight as well. Here’s the lowdown on the German pilot whose personality is as lively as his flying.
1) Dolderer has been a hotshot from the start of his #racing career. While Dolderer may seem like he’s come out of nowhere to fight for the #redbullairraceworldchampionship this year, insiders know he’s been strong from the beginning. The German surprised the world's best pilots when he burst onto the scene more than four seasons ago, earning a podium at the finale in Barcelona and a nod as outstanding rookie of the stellar “Class of 2009.” He’s improved his position in the World Championship standings every year since and is currently on a roll, earning third at the 2015 finale in Las Vegas, second at the 2016 season opener in Abu Dhabi, and the top step of the podium in Spielberg.
2) Flying is in his blood. Dolderer’s passion for flight started long before he flew a raceplane, at his parents’ airfield in Tannheim. He took his first flight with his father at age 3, soloed by 14 and earned his glider license at 17. He was the youngest competitor ever in the German Microlight Championships; was a member of the German National Team; and at 21 he became his country’s youngest flight instructor, eventually taking the reins of Tannheim airfield with his sister and flying more than 130 different aircraft. In 2008 he clinched the Unlimited title and finished second in Freestyle at the GermanAerobatics Championships, and took second in Unlimited at the WorldAerobatics Cup.
3) Innovation is a passion. Matthias Dolderer #racing has been at the forefront of bringing new technology into the sport. Dolderer was one of the first pilots to invest in the newesthigh-speed version of the Zivko Edge 540 V3 raceplane, and when the temperatures reached nearly 40 C. / 104 F. in Malaysia in 2014, the German was one of two pilots who pioneered a special under-suit cooling vest. For better aerodynamics this season, the team found a way to streamline Dolderer's helmet while retaining optimal protection, which allowed them to reduce the raceplane's canopy size. Dolderer says they’ve got “no shortage of ideas for technical improvements” to come…
4) He loves his lederhosen. Fans who enjoy Dolderer’s celebratory yodels at the controls of his raceplane should really see him in person – when packing for the eight-race season, the pilot typically includes his lederhosen along with his G-suit. According to Dolderer, who is as fun-loving out of the cockpit as he is fiery within it, “Life is good in lederhosen!”
5) He’s got a dartboard in his hangar! When other teams are bustling around getting ready for a flying session, or secluding themselves behind the scenes to avoid distraction, the members of Matthias Dolderer Racing can occasionally be spotted calmly playing a round of darts, right next to their airplane in the hangar. What looks like nonchalance is actually a calculated preparation strategy. Dolderer introduced the dartboard in Spielberg as a way to center himself: concentrating intently on the board helps him to focus. Given his win, it seems to work!
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