About Red Bull Air Race
Officially launched in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race has become globally renowned as one of the most exhilarating motorsport series on the planet.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an official World Championship, accredited by the FAI – The World Air Sports Federation.
The Red Bull Air Race features the world’s best racing pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight raceplanes, pilots hit speeds of 370kph while enduring forces of up to 12G as they navigate a low level slalom track marked by 25-metre-high, air-filled pylons.
Devised by the Red Bull sports think-tank, the initial goal was to create the most advanced aerial challenge the world had ever seen; what has evolved into the Red Bull Air Race we know today has far exceeded any original expectations.
It is a visual spectacle unlike any other. A combination of high speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability make it only accessible to the world’s most exceptional pilots.
14 pilots are competing in the Master Class category in eight races across the globe for the title of 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Champion. The objective is to navigate an aerial racetrack featuring air-filled pylons in the fastest possible time, incurring as few penalties as possible. Pilots can win World Championship points at each race and the pilot with the most points after the last race of the season becomes the Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
Matt Hall is the only Australian ever to compete in the Red Bull Air Race, and in seven seasons has amassed 26 podium finishes, including six victories and four overall season podium finishes.
Hall’s inaugural season in 2009 saw him finish third overall for the year, making him the only rookie to ever finish on the season podium. In 2015, 2016 and 2018 the Aussie finished runner-up in the series. Now 10 years after his debut, Hall will be pushing for a maiden world title.
The team members that travel around the world with Matt are: Data analyst/tactician Peter Wezenbeek; Technician Dave Finch and Team Manager Andrew Musgrove. You can meet the entire Matt Hall Racing Team HERE.
The Red Bull Air Race also has a ‘Challenger Class’ which contests the Challenger Cup. This offers a new generation of talented pilots from around the world a chance to experience the thrills of the sport.
The twin aims of the Challenger Cup are to give new pilots the chance to develop their low altitude flying skills under racing conditions and further enhance the overall safety in air race, the new dimension in motorsport.
THE RACE FORMAT
*The number of Challenger Class starters varies from race to race.
**The starting order for the Round of 14 is based on the results in qualifying. The fastest qualifier flies last.
THE RULES OF THE TRACK
On average, the racetracks used in the Red Bull Air Race are approximately 6km in length and are marked by race-bespoke inflatable air gates – called pylons – which define the race track.
When designed a track consists of the start/finish gate, three or four two-pylon gates (pilots must fly straight and level between these) and a chicane that comprises three individual pylons that pilots must bank around.
One end of the track also has a vertical turn manoeuvre (VTM), where the pilots must fly through the gate and then pull up as quickly and efficiently as possible – without exceeding 11G – and turn over on themselves and back into the track.
Below are the rules for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Vital to the Red Bull Air Race, the pylons have a complex and contradictory role. They must be delicate enough to burst the instant they are touched by an aircraft, but sturdy enough to withstand all weather conditions.
When a pylon is hit, a team of ‘Airgators’ race out to it and complete their repairs and re-inflate the pylon within minutes.
The shape of the pylons sees them have a straight inner edge, which creates a perfectly rectangular flight window between them.
Meet the guys who strap into the fastest and most manoeuvrable race planes in the world.