List of Red Bull Air Race World Championship winners

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Péter Besenyei – winner of the inaugural series in 2003 – during the Chiba leg of the 2015 championship

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship (formerly known as the Red Bull Air Race), established in 2003 and created by Red Bull GmbH, is an international series of air races in which entrants compete to navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time. Pilots fly individually against the clock and are required to complete tight turns through a slalom course consisting of inflatable pylons, known as "Air Gates". The races are held mainly over water near cities, but are also held at airfields or natural wonders (such as Sugarloaf Mountain and Monument Valley). Races are usually flown on weekends with the first day for qualification then knockout finals the day after. The events attract large crowds and are broadcast, both live and in highlights, in many nations. At each venue, the top ten 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.[1] After a three-year hiatus from 2011 for safety improvements and reorganisation, the Air Race resumed in 2014.[2]

The inaugural series comprising two races was won by the Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei who went on to secure second place the following three series. As of 2017, the most successful pilot in the history of the championship is Briton Paul Bonhomme who has won the title on three occasions, in 2009, 2010 and 2015.[3] British and American pilots are the most successful, with four titles for each nationality.

History[edit]

Paul Bonhomme – winner of the championship in 2009, 2010 and 2015 – during the New York leg of the 2010 series

The inaugural series in 2003, which consisted of two races, one in Austria and one in Hungary,[4] was won by the Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei, with the German Klaus Schrodt coming second, followed by the American Kirby Chambliss.[5] The format was expanded the following year to encompass three venues, the United States, the United Kingdom and Austria, and was won by Chambliss.[5] The 2005 series expanded the competition to seven races, of which American pilot Mike Mangold won five to secure the title.[5] The 2006 series included eight. Chambliss won four races against ten other pilots to win his second title in three years.[5] The following series included ten venues with thirteen competitors, and ended with Mangold winning his second title, ahead of British pilot Paul Bonhomme and Besenyei.[5]

In the 2008 series, Austrian qualifier Hannes Arch took the title on his first attempt in a championship featuring eight rounds. Bonhomme finished second and Chambliss took third place. The 2009 series featured fifteen pilots but at fewer venues, six in total. The previous year's runner-up Bonhomme took the title, winning three races and placing second in the other three. Arch was second and Australian newcomer Matt Hall came third. Bonhomme defended his title in the 2010 series, placing in the top three in each race of a six-race season. Arch came second again, and British pilot Nigel Lamb finished third.[5]

No Red Bull Air Race series took place between 2011 and 2013 inclusively, during which time new safety measures and standardised engines were introduced.[6] The 2014 series was the first to divide the field into classes, namely the "Master Class", and the "Challenger Class" in which young pilots compete.[7] The title was taken by Lamb, followed by Arch and Bonhomme.[5] The following series took place across eight venues and was won by Bonhomme, followed by Hall and Arch.[5] In 2016, the Red Bull Air Race season was held at seven locations, with the German pilot Matthias Dolderer winning his first title.[5] Hall finished second and Arch placed posthumously third, having died in an unrelated helicopter accident before the end of the championship.[5][8] The 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship was won by the Japanese pilot Yoshihide Muroya, with Czech pilot Martin Šonka second and Canadian Pete McLeod third.[9]

Winners and runners-up[edit]

Key
Posthumous placingIndicates posthumous placing
SeriesImageWinnerSecond placeThird placeRef(s)
NameNationalityNameNationalityNameNationality
2003Peter BesenyeiPéter Besenyei HUNKlaus Schrodt GERKirby Chambliss USA[5][10][11]
2004Kirby Chambliss in 2010Kirby Chambliss USAPéter Besenyei HUNSteve Jones GBR[5][12]
Klaus Schrodt GER
2005Mike Mangold in 2007Mike Mangold USAPéter Besenyei HUNKirby Chambliss USA[5][13]
2006Kirby Chambliss in 2010Kirby Chambliss USAPéter Besenyei HUNMike Mangold USA[5][12]
2007Mike Mangold in 2007Mike Mangold USAPaul Bonhomme GBRPéter Besenyei HUN[5][13]
2008Hannes ArchHannes Arch AUTPaul Bonhomme GBRKirby Chambliss USA[5][8]
2009Paul BonhommePaul Bonhomme GBRHannes Arch AUTMatt Hall AUS[3][5][14]
2010Paul BonhommePaul Bonhomme GBRHannes Arch AUTNigel Lamb GBR[3][5]
2011
No event
2012
No event
2013
No event
2014Nigel LambNigel Lamb GBRHannes Arch AUTPaul Bonhomme GBR[5][15]
2015Paul BonhommePaul Bonhomme GBRMatt Hall AUSHannes Arch AUT[5][3][14]
2016Matthias DoldererMatthias Dolderer GERMatt Hall AUSHannes Arch Posthumous placing AUT[5][14][16]
2017Yoshihide MuroyaYoshihide Muroya JPNMartin Šonka CZEPete McLeod CAN[9][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rules and Principles". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. ^ Miller, Alyssa (December 2013). "Pilot Briefing: Red Bull Air Race returns". Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. p. 36. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Williams, David (29 October 2015). "How to win the Red Bull Air Race". GQ. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Red Bull Air Race pilot Paul Bonhomme on how he became a high-flyer". Daily Mirror. 28 January 2012. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "History". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  6. ^ Estrada, Chris (9 October 2013). "Texas, Vegas to host returning Red Bull Air Race series in 2014". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  7. ^ "New Challenger Cup ready to take off in 2014". Red Bull. 23 January 2014. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b Moore, Jim (12 September 2016). "Hannes Arch mourned". Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Results". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Klaus Schrodt". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Red Bull Air Race – The Official Magazine – Gdynia". Red Bull Air Race. 26 July 2014. p. 16. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017.
  12. ^ a b Leach, Robin (5 October 2014). "Red Bull Air Race pilot Kirby Chambliss: 'There's always a sense of danger'". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Mangold takes title as Brit Bonhomme disappoints at the death". The Guardian. 5 November 2007. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "Matt Hall". Red Bull. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  15. ^ Rowe, Sam (14 July 2016). "12 things nobody tells you before you become a Red Bull Air Race pilot". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  16. ^ Moore, Jim (3 October 2016). "Dolderer wins Red Bull title". Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Red Bull Air Race 2017: Yoshi Muroya wins the 2017 season". FAI. 15 October 2017. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.

External links[edit]