Smoke On! Red Bull Air Race to Return in 2014
After a three-year hiatus, the Red Bull Air Races will resume their world-wide racing competition in 2014. The seven races span six countries on three continents and include some of the top pilots in the world.
The 2014 race locations include:
Feb 28 -- Corniche breakwater. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
May 17 -- Putrajaya Lake. Putrajaya, Malaysia
July 26 -- Seaside Boulevard. Gdynia, Poland
August 16 -– Ascot Race Course. Ascot, United Kingdom
Sept 13 -– Texas Motor Speedway. Dallas / Fort Worth, USA
Oct 11 -– Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Las Vegas, USA
Nov 1 -– TBD. Shanghai, China
"We've all worked very hard over the last three years fine-tuning some of the safety aspects and bring the sport to a new level," said Erich Wolf, CEO Red Bull Air Race GmbH on redbullairrace.com. "We never took our eye off the target and neither have these fantastic pilots or the great fans around the world."
Many of the pilots are eager for the races to resume.
"I've missed the flying in the Red Bull Air Race because the competitive racing is just fantastic for the pilots," said race pilot Paul Bonhomme on the Red Bull Air Race website. "We're all going to start afresh now. I'm already thinking about how to advance, how to win or even just do well to start with."
Race organizers have used the time off to make improvements to the overall safety and procedures of the race. Racers must now use a standard engine and propeller on their airplane. The air gates are made from an improved nylon material making them easier to pull apart when hit by a race plane. The height of the gates was also increased from 20 meters to 25.
A new addition to the 2014 World Championship will be the new Challengers Cup competition. This stepping-stone competition will give new pilots who qualify valuable experience racing in the tracks on certain Red Bull Air Race stops. These pilots can also participate in several training camps during the season.
This years race pilots include Nigel Lamb, Matt Hall, Paul Bonhomme, Peter Besenyei, Hannes Arch, Nicolas Ivanoff, Michael Goulian, Matthias Dolderer, Kirby Chambliss, Yoshi Muroya, Pete McLeod, and Martin Sonka.
UPDATE The latest video on the Red Bull Air Race website introduces U.S. airshow pilot Rob Holland as a new racer in the competition. This season is going to be awesome!
Photos and video by Mariano Rosales