Summer is starting to wind down, but I am not giving up on it quite yet. One “summer” event that I would love to take in live would be the Red Bull Air Race.
- Windsor goes after 2013 Red Bull race (windsorstar.com)
- AD of the Week – Red Bull “Gives you Wings” (marketingclubatglg.wordpress.com)
The Red Bull Air Race was created in 2003 by Red Bull the energy drink maker, Taking their tag line “Red Bull gives you wings” quite literally. The air race is a series of international speed-plane obstacle course races. The pilots have to navigate the 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 typically flown over rivers or waterways in large metropolitan cities. A few have been held at airfields or natural wonders. They are accompanied by a spectator driven event of show flights. Races are usually flown on weekends with the Saturdays for qualification passes, then knockout finals on Sundays. The events attract large crowds and are broadcast; both live and taped, in many nations. I’ve been brought up to speed (pun intended) watching it on Discovery HD, now Velocity TV. In each city, 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. Mike Mangold won in 2005 and in 2007, Kirby Chambliss in 2006, Hannes Arch in 2008, and Paul Bonhomme 2009 and 2010.
Unfortunately as a result of Adilson Kindlemann’s crash in Perth during the 2010 series training runs prior to the race, Red Bull Air Race organizers have cancelled all events scheduled for 2011 and 2012 worldwide. Rescuers were on site within seconds after the crash and Kindlemann was rushed to the Hospital where it was determined that he’d suffered no serious injury, but it was enough to call off the races for revamping. As of 2011 it is the only crash in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. This dashed my hopes to see an event live for now, but they have done a good job of filling the void with online games rebroadcasts and an extensive website.
Recently the announcement came that the Red Bull Races are set to resume in 2014. After a long period of relative silence on the issue, they now seem to have some contracts set and tangible information. So it seems to me we will be hearing “smoke on” from the loudspeakers soon and that will be swell!