The extreme sport of Air Racing – and notably the Red Bull Air Racing World Championships – has got off to a great start in 2009. Already four races have been held, starting with the Abu Dhabi race which was then followed with races held in San Diego, Windsor Ontario, and most recently Budapest in Hungary.
The 2009 World Championship has 15 pilots competing for the crown of world champion. In each race only 12 pilots will actually compete for race start positions, and therfore qualify for championship points – these pilots being the ten fastest qualifiers and two of the other five pilots who compete in a wild card race to find the fastest two planes.
After four races it is Brit Paul Bonhomme who is leading the title race with 42 points, just ahead of the Austrian Hannes Arch. Nicholas Ivanoff from France and American Mike Mangold are in third and fourth positions with a points tally of 28 and 24 respectively.
The next race is scheduled to take place in Porto, Portugal on the Atlantic coast with the qualifying taking place on Saturday 12th September and race day itself being on the 13th September. The teams then travel to neighbouring Spain for the race in Barcelona on the 3rd and 4th October.
Michael Goulian from Massachusetts claimed the victors podium in the recently completed Budapest race, beating Paul Bonhomme, Kirby Chambliss and Hannes Arch. The racing, as can be seen on the attached video from Redbullairrace , is not only fast and furious but also extremely dangerous. It was Hannes Arch who was piloting his plane whilst racing in the San Diego event this year when it hit an unlucky pelican. Arch’s plane was severly damaged and not surprisingly the pelican did not survive.
If you are interested in attending one of the upcoming races we suggest you visit the website: the link for which is http://www.redbullairrace.com/cs/Satellite/en_air/Generic/Tickets-and-Hospitality-021242756456959?CategoryName=Red+Bull+Air+Race&p=1238611393596