Red Bull Air Race World Championship Series To Return In '14 After Three-Year Hiatus
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship “will make a comeback after a three-year hiatus in February,” according to the SID. Defending world champion Paul Bonhomme from the U.K. and 11 additional pilots “will compete at seven events in six countries.” German pilot Matthias Dolderer said, “I’m expecting an interesting season with cool locations.” At Red Bull Air Race events, pilots “have to race an obstacle course of 25-meter high pylons.” The air-racing series “is all about speed, precision and skill” (SID, 10/8). Of the seven races, two will take place in the U.S. The world championship will be back with three former World Champions in the 12-pilot field after taking a three-year break to improve safety and reorganize. For '14, there will be a number of technical improvements to increase safety, including standard engines and propellers for all pilots, changes to the lightweight nylon pylon material (making it easier for them to burst apart if they are clipped by plane wings) and raising the height of the pylons that the pilots pass through from 65-80 feet. The high-G 270-degree "Quatro" turn through a set of four pylons used in previous years has been eliminated due to the exceedingly high g-force it exerts on the planes and pilots. Another safety feature and highlight is the new Challengers Cup competition that will be introduced in '14. This stepping-stone competition will give new pilots experience racing under less pressure on the day before the Red Bull Air Race (Red Bull). In Petaling Jaya, Tan Shiow Chin wrote for the first time ever, "Malaysia will be hosting a leg of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships." Putrajaya "was announced as the site for the second leg of the 2014 Championships at the launch of the event at the Putrajaya Marina" (THE STAR, 10/8).