March 11, 2010 -
The 2010 Red Bull
Air Race World Championship opens in Abu Dhabi
on 26/27 March, returning to the
United Arab Emirates capital for the
sixth consecutive year. The world’s top 15 pilots will start their
six-month long battle for championship points in the first of eight
races on a total of five continents.
Paul Bonhomme of Britain and Austria’s
Hannes Arch, the 2008 champion will resume their thrilling duel over the
sparkling turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf on Abu Dhabi’s famous Corniche. Arch, who won the
2009 race in Abu Dhabi
but finished second overall to Bonhomme, has worked hard on improving
his aircraft during the off-season and will be looking to get back in
front of his British rival.
is one of the most challenging races on the calendar because you don’t
know what the other guys have been doing over the winter,” said Arch,
who is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. “Your team doesn’t
have a race rhythm yet and no one’s quite sure how strong their planes
are relative to the others. I’m looking forward to the race. I’m the
hunter now rather than being hunted.”
has been a popular fixture on the Red Bull Air Race calendar ever since
the World Championship officially began in 2005. The warm temperatures
and famous winds which can change direction abruptly during the course
of the day make it one of the most challenging tracks and a favourite
for the veterans.
“We’re delighted to be back in Abu Dhabi to kick off the 2010 Red Bull Air
Race World Championship,” said Bernd Loidl, CEO of Red Bull Air Race.
“We’re looking forward to another exciting race and being back in the
same spot as last year where spectators can enjoy perfect front row
viewing from the public beach at the Abu Dhabi Corniche.”
spectators will also have the chance to meet the pilots and see their
planes at the race airport located at MunicipalityHarbour during the Public Pit Lane Walk
on Qualifying Day. “We hope fans will take advantage of the chance to
meet the pilots and see their incredible planes up close,” Loidl said.
The opening round
of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship takes place in close
partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and under the patronage
of HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the Abu Dhabi
Sports Council. The picturesque blue skies and dramatic
Abu Dhabi shoreline with its towering skyscrapers will
provide a spectacular backdrop for the first round of the international
motor sports championship which will be one of the Middle East’s most breathtaking sports events of the year.
Qualifying takes place on 26 March followed by Race Day on
Saturday 27 March.
The 2009 championship battle between Britain’s Paul Bonhomme and Austria’s Hannes
Arch captivated fans around the world. Bonhomme was crowned champion
after winning the finale in
in front of a record crowd of 800,000. More than 3.5 million spectators
followed the action at 6 races and it was watched by 270 million people
on television networks around the world.