Czech pilot Martin Sonka scored his first ever race win in the Red Bull Air Race series at Abu Dhabi last weekend.
Sonka beat Spaniard Juan Velarde, Canadian Pete McLeod and reigning champion Matthias Dolderer in the Final 4 round.
Australian pilot Matt Hall was classified 13th.
"It's a beautiful feeling, and it's something like a drug; you want it again and again," Sonka said after the race. "I already know I want this feeling as soon as possible, but I know all the other pilots want the same. So it's a tough and hard job."
Sonka joined the Red Bull Air Race in 2010, and said his goal had always been to win. "It's been the plan for many races, but this is the first time it's worked. The team worked very well and the raceplane behaved as we wanted, everything was there," he said.
Sonka finished top of the table in qualifying, then defeated Peter Podlunsek in the Round of 14 and Nicolas Ivanoff in the Round of 8 to book a spot in the final.
His Final Four time of 0:53.139 was enough to see off challenges from Velarde (0:54.166) and McLeod (0:54.632). Dolderer came fourth after a two-second penalty for passing through an air gate at an incorrect level pushed his time out to 0:55.227.
Even then, Sonka didn't realise that he'd won the race.
"When I opened the canopy we still didn't know the result, and a few seconds later we all heard it together, it was incredible and for me it was like a joke," he said. "I couldn't understand that it was true, because it's been my goal for such a long time, and now I've experienced this with my team it's amazing."
Australian Matt Hall came 13th in his first hit-out in a rented Edge 540. Hall qualified in 13th place, and was unable to get past American Michael Goulian in the Round of 14; his 0:55.332 the slowest recorded for a pilot who wasn't penalised.
The result has failed to put a dent in Hall's optimism for the 2017 season.
"We were running within two seconds of the field with no mods," Hall pointed out, "so I think maybe we've got some people looking at us a little bit scared.
"We've ordered a brand new aircraft. It's currently finishing its build at the moment. We'll pick that up in Oklahoma in the middle of March and then do a month of work on it to get it to where we want it, and then we'll be starting from scratch."
The next round is in San Diego on 15-16 April.