December 18, 2009 - The city of
Moving into its sixth season, The Red Bull Air Race World Championship
has experienced record growth as a global sport.
In 2009, 3.5 million spectators attended the races and over 300 million
followed on television broadcasts around the globe.
In 2009, 3.5 million spectators attended the races and over 300 million followed on television broadcasts around the globe.
This growth has attracted the attention of many major cities around the
world due to the positive impact the race has on community and most
importantly, a proven track record to for delivering strong economic
returns for the host city.
The Red Bull Air
Race, established in 2003 and created by Red Bull, is an international
series of air races in which competitors have to navigate a challenging
obstacle course in the fastest time. Pilots fly individually against the
clock and have to complete tight turns through a slalom course
consisting of pylons, known as "Air Gates".
The races are held mainly over water near cities, but are also held at
airfields or natural wonders. They are accompanied by a supporting
program of show flights. Races are usually flown on weekends with the
first day for qualification then knockout finals the day after. The
events attract large crowds and are broadcast, both live and taped, in
At each venue, the top nine places earn World Championship points. The
air racer with the most points at the end of the Championship becomes
Red Bull Air Race World Champion. The 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
series were won respectively by the pilots Mike Mangold, Kirby
Chambliss, Mangold, Hannes Arch and Paul Bonhomme.
The Red Bull Air Race was conceived in 2001 in the Red Bull sports
think-tank which has been responsible for creating a wide range of
innovative sports events across the world. The aim was to develop a
brand new aviation race that would challenge the ability of the world’s
best pilots, creating a race in the sky that was not simply about speed,
but also precision and skill. The answer was to build a specially
designed obstacle course which the pilots would navigate at high speeds.
Development of the prototypes of what are now known as the ‘Air Gates’
began in 2002 and renowned Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei successfully
completed the first test flight through them. After two years in
planning and development, the first official Red Bull Air Race was ready
to take off in
In 2004 three races took place in Kemble (
Eight races took place in 2006 with 11 pilots competing. Kirby Chambliss
was crowned the champion for the Series' second season. In 2007 the
calendar was extended to include ten races with the first race on South
American soil taking place in
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