What is the Red Bull Air Race?:
Using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial race track made up of air-filled pylons, reaching speeds of 400 kilometres per hour while withstanding forces of up to 10 Gs.
Where do the races take place?:
San Diego is the second stop of the 6-race 2009 season, taking place on May 9 and 10.
So, what kind of air races take place?:
The objective is to navigate an aerial race track featuring air-filled pylons in the fastest possible time incurring as few penalties as possible.
Pilots can win points at each race and the one with the most points at the end of the World Series becomes the Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
What is the race format?:
The new format features a Qualifying Day with all pilots racing to be one of the ten fastest to take them directly through to the Top 12 session on Race Day. For the first time ever, Qualifying will also be a race for one World Championship point which will be awarded to the pilot with the best time in Qualifying. A Wild Card session opens Race Day with the five slowest from Qualifying getting a second chance.
What's with the giant pylons in the middle of San Diego Bay?:
Where will the Red Bull Air Races take place in San Diego?:
The track will be packed with many twists, high speed sharp turns and Air Gates that are more difficult to negotiate. Pilot judgement is critical in order to fly a perfect race line. If they misjudge it or cut corners too much they risk being unable to complete the turn into the next Air Gate, which could result in a slower time, penalty seconds or in the worst case disqualification. The race track will be located in the Big Bay between Coronado Island and the spectacular downtown skyline of San Diego.
The Red Bull Air Race airport and flight operations will be set up at the Naval Air Station, North Island on Coronado Island, an active military facility, which will be the base for the twelve pilots and their teams during race week.
Last year over 50,000 people turned out to watch the race in San Diego. Spectators will be able to enjoy unprecedented views of the action from the Embarcadero Marine Park peninsulas. Qualifying takes place on Saturday, May 9 followed by Race Day on Sunday, May 10.
General admission tickets start at $20 for a General Admission ticket on Qualifying Day (Saturday, May 9) to $30 on Race Day (Sunday, May 10) to $40 for a 2-day ticket for admission on Qualifying Day & Race Day.