Following an action-packed season, 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Champion Nigel Lamb has hung up his racing gloves after the final showdown in Las Vegas, handing over the Breitling Racing Team reins to French protégé Mika Brageot.
The experienced British ace has successfully challenged the world’s most elite pilots for eight seasons, yet announced at the beginning of the year that he would step aside precisely while he was still operating at the top of his game. Nigel, who has always encouraged future generations to fulfill their potential, has spent the last season passing on all his essential knowledge to Mika, who qualified through the Challenger Class ranks. Mika Brageot has devoted his time not only to getting comfortable racing at high speeds and low altitude in Nigel’s high-performance race plane (MXS-R), but also to learning about mental focus, technical advancements and race analytics, with the aim of flying the Breitling colors to the top of the ranking in his first competitive season.
The Breitling Racing Team has enjoyed many accomplishments during 2016, including seeing François Le Vot climb the podium in Abu Dhabi and Nigel Lamb claim a top position in Spielberg, Austria, and Indianapolis, USA. One of the season’s highlights was witnessing Japanese pilot and longstanding brand partner Yoshihide Muroya claim his home race victory, also the first of his career.
After assessing its global aviation activities for 2017, Breitling will be restructuring and streamlining all projects, continuing to back one Master Class team in the Red Bull Air Race and putting all its support behind Mika Brageot.
As a fitting finale to the 2016 season, all seven members of the Breitling Jet Team, the world’s largest civilian aerobatics team, joined their flying colleagues from the Red Bull Air Race in Las Vegas to also signify the end of their remarkable two-year American tour. The team pilots aligned their L-39C Albatros jets, escorting Nigel Lamb, Francois Le Vot and Yoshihide Muroya in a flight of mutual respect reflecting an authentic and well-shared passion for aviation.