The Red Bull Air Race World Series

June 29, 2007 by  
Filed under Features

The initiative began deep in the Red Bull sports ideas ‘think tank’; within this hub, a vast range of exciting events began to transform sports across the world. The Red Bull Air Race is one of those initiatives and it became a reality in 2001. Two years later it debuted at the AirPower in Zeltweg in Austria with six of the most renowned pilots participating and making the event a huge success. This ensured a future for ‘air racing‘.

Unlike most events speed was not the main focus; rather a new era was being established through accuracy and skill, thus challenging the world’s best pilots in their ability to negotiate through a specially designed obstacle course at high speeds and excruciatingly tight turns. The Air Race places a large demand on the pilots and their abilities to withstand forces ranging up to 10G’s. With the physical demands placed on such pilots, only a select few are picked to participate in this grueling race.

In 2003 with the triumph of Zeltweg, Tokol Airport was designated to hold the second round near Budapest; again proving the potential in ‘air racing’ with its future moving forward. Unlike previous years, Red Bull decided that 2004 would see three races being staged. The first was held in the United Kingdom at Kemble and was won by Kirby Chambliss, an American. Two months later, Chambliss impressed the crowd for a second time, winning the event stationed in Hungary near the River Danube. The last of the three races took place in Reno, in the United States of America, where America took first place through pilot, Mike Mangold who became overall winner in the first Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

2005 saw the creation of the first Air Race World Series. This was to consist of seven events which would take place across the world, each with their own demands. As with Mike Mangold the winner is chosen according to the most points accumulated throughout the series. The last of the series race for 2006 was held in Perth, Australia, where American Kirby Chambliss took first place amongst ten other competitors. Abu Dhabi begins as the formal post for the 2007 World Series with no less then fourteen locations and fourteen competitors taking part. Spectators are not forgotten, bringing ‘air racing’ to a close proximity with low level flying and action up close. Over the years this has increased astonishingly with just over six million viewers being recorded at the last race.

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