Formula One drivers are regularly subjected to around 5 G’s in hard corners. Air Racing pilots at the Red Bull Air Races are often pulling twice that amount, over water, in an airplane, at more than 200 MPH.
After an eight year hiatus, The Red Bull Air Race World Championship returned to San Diego on the 15-16 April 2017, with the perfect location of San Diego Harbor hosting the international event.
I had never been to a Red Bull Air Race before and now I understand the size of the crowds, as passionate fans came from all over to be part of the ESPN-televised spectacle. (See Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz here: Red Bulls Man Cave)
Red Bull Air Races
After Dubai, San Diego was the second stop on the eight race series, and was won by Japanese pilot Muroya Yoshido.
Last year, Yoshido clinched his first race win and the first for his native Japan in front of 90,000 home fans on a thrilling June weekend in Chiba.
The first Asian pilot in the World Championship, has been instrumental in building the sport’s popularity in the region, and with this win in San Diego, Yoshido is a favorite to win the 2017 World Champion. Now with momentum on his side, The Red Bull Air Races touches down once again in Japan, in the sprawling metropolis of Chiba City, renowned as the birthplace of civil aviation in Japan.
Designed for agility, the planes used in the Red Bull Air Races are built to specification, just like the Red Bull Formula One car. Lightweight and extremely strong, these propeller-driven racing ships utilize the latest in aircraft technology and are built for their ability to rapidly change direction under those G-loads approaching 14G’s. And just like Formula One, engines and propellers have been standardized for all teams, and very often pilot skill and ability determines the winner.
After Japan, teams travel to Hungary, Russia, Portugal, and Germany before returning to Indianapolis, IN. for the last race in October.
A Formula One race done in the air, make sure to catch this multi-country event if your travels take you close to one of the remaining venues.
The Red Bull Air Races
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Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications.
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