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Red Bull Air Race, Budapest

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Red Bull Air Race Budapest! Save the date for 01-02 July 2017 when the World Championship heads to Budapest again! Enjoy the best aerobatics displays set on a backdrop of the most beautiful capital in Europe. 

The Hungarian crowd will miss Peter Besenyei, who retired at the end of the 2015 season, one of the most successful pilots in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. He is still joint third on the all-time race wins list with eight career victories. He also has 22 podiums in 10 seasons. The Hungarian pilot was a driving force behind the creation of the world's fastest motor sport series and his pioneering efforts helped develop the high speed, low altitude racing.

The Race

The world famous Red Bull Air Race, established in 2003 and created by Red Bull, is an international series of air races in which competitors have to navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time. Pilots have to complete tight turns through a slalom course consisting of pylons, known as "Air Gates". The races are accompanied by a supporting program of show flights. Races are usually flown on weekends with the first day for qualification then knockout finals the day after. 

At each venue, the top nine 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. 

The first ever air race was won by the Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei in 2003. The 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 series were won respectively by the American pilots Mike Mangold, Kirby Chambliss, the Austrian Hannes Arch and the English Paul Bonhomme. Four new pilots from four countries joined the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2009: Canada's Pete McLeod, Japan's Yoshihide Muroya, Australia's Matt Hall and Germany's Matthias Dolderer. The 2010 rookies were Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic, and Adilson Kindlemann of Brazil. In 2014 another English racer Nigel Lamb was crowned the champion.

The History

The Red Bull Air Race was conceived in 2001 in the Red Bull sports think-tank which has been responsible for creating a range of new sports events across the world. The aim was to develop a new aviation race that would challenge the ability of the world's best pilots, creating a race in the sky that was not simply about speed, but also precision and skill. The answer was to build a specially designed obstacle course which the pilots would navigate at high speeds.

Development of the prototypes of what are now known as the 'Air Gates' began in 2002 and renowned Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei successfully completed the first test flight through them. After two years in planning and development, the first official Red Bull Air Race was ready to take off in Zeltweg, Austria in 2003. A second was staged the same year near Budapest in Hungary.

The World Championship points

Based on the pilot's place at each race, World Championship points are awarded. The current points scoring format see first place receive 12 points, second place receive nine, on through eighth who receives one. One World Championship point is awarded to the fastest pilot in Qualifying. 13 points is the maximum one driver can earn in a single race.

The Rules

Pilots are required to complete the 5–6-kilometre (3.1–3.7 mi) long track and fly between the Air Gates following a predetermined race track configuration. Failure to do this correctly results in penalty seconds being added to their race time. Penalty seconds can be added for an incorrect passing of an Air Gate or passing an Air Gate at an incorrect orientation. For more serious breaches of the rules, pilots may be ruled as "Did Not Finish" or disqualified.

The Aircrafts

The competitors use high-performance aerobatic planes such as the Zivko Edge 540, MXS-R, and the Corvus Racer 540, equipped with Lycoming engines. All aircraft have a wingspan less than 7.6 metres (25 ft) and top speeds ranging from 406 to 426 km/h (252 to 265 mph). Each aircraft carries a TL Elektronic TL-3424_EXT accelerometer. It transmits timing and speed data which is picked up and displayed on large spectator screens.

The Accommodation 

If you are looking for accommodation near the race, we recommend the 1st, 5th and 6th district as your best choice since these hotels are the closest to the venue. To see accommodation availability and prices click "book now" below. You don't have to pay now but when you arrive. Free cancellation on most rooms.

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We organise airport transfers to and from Budapest:

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Calendar

10-11 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
15-16 April: San Diego, USA
03-04 June: Chiba, Japan
01-02 July: Budapest, Hungary
22-23 July: Kazan, Russia
12-13 August: TBA, Europe
02-03 September: TBA, Europe
14-15 October: Indianapolis, USA

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