Race on the Riviera: Red Bull Air Race in France
Just two weeks before the renowned film festival in Cannes, the glamorous city will roll out the red carpet for the stars of aviation motorsport, as the Red Bull Air Race World Championship makes its long-awaited French debut.
Launched in 2003 and a World Championship since 2005, the Red Bull Air Race has thrilled crowds at global destinations from New York City to London and from Australia to Japan. But this April 20-22 will mark the first time that the sport has taken off in the skies of France – and with five French pilots among the weekend’s elite lineup, the second stop of the eight-race season will be a gala event.
The Red Bull Air Race is the new dimension of motorsport, putting speed, precision and breathtaking flying skills in the spotlight at Cannes. In the Master Class, fourteen of the world’s best pilots compete for the official World Championship recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Flying against the clock through a racetrack of 25-meter-high pylons in cutting-edge raceplanes, they will reach speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 12G. The high-speed, low-level racing over the Mediterranean will put the action right in front of the fans, and special side acts and autograph opportunities will make the historic weekend even more memorable.
Headlining their first-ever home race will be the three French pilots in the World Championship: Nicolas Ivanoff, a Corsican with five career race wins; François Le Vot, a former top gun flight instructor with the Armée de l’Air and World Aerobatic Champion who resides in the south of France; and Mika Brageot, a young native of Villeneuve sur Lot who won the 2015 title in the sport’s second competition category and is already challenging the leaders in the World Championship.
Their opponents in the international cast of aviation luminaries include reigning World Champion Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) and his fierce rival, the 2017 runner-up Martin Šonka (CZE). Two Americans also look to figure prominently, with former double titleholder Kirby Chambliss continuing his comeback campaign, and Michael Goulian fighting to retain the top of the leaderboard after winning February’s season opener in Abu Dhabi. And watch out for Germany’s Matthias Dolderer – the 2016 World Champion is determined to claw his way back up to a top role this season.
Meanwhile, two more French pilots will shine in the Challenger Class that builds the stars of tomorrow. A local favorite from the Cannes region will be Mélanie Astles, the first woman to compete – and to win – in the Red Bull Air Race. Also flying for the Tricolor will be Baptiste Vignes of Le Havre, who has claimed world aerobatic titles and has shown strong promise in Air Racing since joining the Challenger Class last year.
Catch the premiere at the Croisette: Tickets for the Red Bull Air Race 2018 – including three days of action over the Cote d’Azur in Cannes – are on sale now. For all the latest news and information, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Bericht van Red Bull Air Race.