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Five Reasons Why You Need To Watch The Red Bull Air Race This Weekend

Five Reasons Why You Need To Watch The Red Bull Air Race This Weekend
By Balls Team
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Established in 2003, The Red Bull Air Race is an international series of races in which competitors have to navigate their way through an obstacle course in the fastest time possible. Oh yeah - the competitors are in airplanes travelling at incredible speeds, and you can watch it live here on Red Bull TV this weekend. 

The rules are simple: Pilots fly individually against the clock, and must complete excruciatingly tight turns through a perilous slalom course consisting of pylons, known as "Air Gates".

At each venue, the top eight places earn World Championship points. The pilot with the most points at the end of the Championship season (November) becomes Red Bull Air Race World Champion.

You might recall that the event made a stop at the Rock of Cashel back in 2005, but this weekend (13th and 14th of August) it returns to Ascot Racecourse in the UK.

You really should watch it, and if the above isn't enough to enthral you, here are five more reasons to tune in to the world's most compelling aerodynamic spectacle:

1) There is guaranteed to be a new champion this year


Having won three of the last four championships, the legendary Paul Bonhomme stepped away from the game at the end of the 2015 season, aged 51.

In his remarkable career, Bonhomme achieved an unsurpassed record of 46 podium finishes out of 65 races, including 19 race wins. This year, however, a new king of the Air will be crowned, as the likes of Bonhomme's compatriot Nigel Lambe and Austria's perennial contender Hannes Arch seek to assert their dominance on the sport.

2) The science behind the aircraft




Air Race planes can pull into a vertical orientation faster than even modern fighter jets, and can withstand up to 10Gs of force. Basically, they can bloody move.

Racing planes are built for maneuverability, and though they are lighter than a car (really), they are also incredibly durable.

3) The track


Ascot is going to look magnificent beneath the smoke and bellowing engines of the Red Bull Air Race planes, with 70,000 raucous fans lining the racecourse to witness the event. It's probably fair to say they're not quite used to seeing this kind of horsepower in Berkshire, but the track provides the perfect open space and vast stand to produce one hell of an event this weekend.

4) There is literally a one-second penalty for pilots who produce 'insufficient or no smoke'

Yes, that's how seriously they take the visual aspect of this championship. Pilots who fail to emanate sufficient smoke from their aircraft have an extra second added to their overall time, which in a sport of such fine margins can prove extremely costly to a pilot's championship ambitions.


That being said, pilot safety is paramount. The entire championship was postponed from 2011 until 2014 for safety improvements and reorganisation.

5) This hair-raising promo vid

We challenge you to watch the above and not feel compelled to tune in this weekend.


Fans can also watch the action, from Qualifying all the way to the Final Four, LIVE during each race weekend here.

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