• French World Championship Air Race pilot Melanie Astles. (WCAR)
    French World Championship Air Race pilot Melanie Astles. (WCAR)

World Championship Air Race is gaining momentum for the 2022 season with more pilots committing to the competition.

After announcing Australian Matt Hall as the first competitor in April, WCAR now has 12 pilots on the books, including former Red Bull Air Race World Champions in Hall (2019), Japan's Yoshi Muroya (2017) and Czech pilot Martin Sonka (2018).

Other RBAR Masterclass alumni include British tyro Ben Murphy, Frenchman Mika Brageot, Canada's Pete McLeod and Spaniard Juan Velarde.

Four other pilots who competed in the RBAR Challenger Class will be racing in the WCAR GP1 class: Italy's Dario Costa, France's Melanie Astles, American Kevin Coleman, three-time Challenger Class champion Florian Berger from Germany and South Africa's Patrick Davidson.

Astles will be the first woman to compete at the top level of air racing since the first season in 2003. She raced in RBAR Challenger Class for four seasons, collecting four podium finishes for one win. Astles finished runner-up in the 2019 championship standings.

Germany's Florian Berger will race for a team owned and organised by 2016 World Champion Matthias Dolderer, who will not compete himself in WCAR. Berger is the most successful Challenger Class pilot in history, winning nine races from 23 starts and taking the title in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

All pilots are thought to be flying Edge 540s except for Brageot, who has opted to campaign an MSX-R.

No dates or venues for the 2022 series have yet been announced.

More information is on the WCAR website.

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