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Red Bull Air Races Take Place in the Home Of Naval Aviation

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Red Bull Air Races Take Place in the Home Of Naval Aviation
Red Bull Air Races

What is the Red Bull Air Race?:

The Red Bull Air Race World Series features the world’s best pilots in a motor sports competition based on speed, precision and skill.

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?:

Touching down in six cities worldwide in 2009, including San Diego, each Red Bull Air Race is unique. From the heart of the city to the open countryside, over land or water, a Red Bull Air Race can take place almost anywhere. Spectacular backdrops and jaw-dropping action guarantee that spectators experience one of the most innovative and exciting new sports competitions around today.

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 Red Bull Air Race World Series is an international series of races with the participation of at least eight pilots at each race.

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 Red Bull Air Race World Championship has revamped its race format this year as part of its quest to streamline racing and also to accommodate the expanded field of pilots from 12 in 2008 to 15 in 2009.

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?:

The inflatable pylons, known as ‘Air Gates’, define the Red Bull Air Race track. They are a creative and complex feat in engineering. The Air Gates used today have developed significantly since the first prototype was designed in 2002. Austrian designer, Martin Jehart and the team at Bellutti, an Innsbruck-based engineering firm specialising in the manufacturing of technical materials and tarpaulin, created the pylons. They eventually came up with the original cylindrical-shaped pylons.

Where will the Red Bull Air Races take place in San Diego?:

The Red Bull Air Race will take place over the bay between the Embarcadero Marina parks and Coronado on Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10. There will be two main ticketed viewing areas - one each in Embarcadero Marina Park North and Embarcadero Marina Park South - with all necessary amenities and services.
Last year’s race track in San Diego was considered one of the most challenging. This year will be no exception. Unlike the predominantly narrow tracks in the World Series, San Diego’s harbor provides a much larger open space to race.

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.

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