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Red Bull Air Race 2008 takes off in Abu Dhabi

Red Bull Air Race World Series 2008 takes off in Abu Dhabi



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For immediate release

Red Bull Air Race World Series 2008 takes off in Abu Dhabi

The Red Bull Air Race World Series 2008 starts in Abu Dhabi on 10th and 11th April. The first of 10 international races will see 12 of the world’s top pilots competing in what is expected to be the most exciting season yet. After one of the closest finishes in sporting history last season, American Mike Mangold will be back to defend his championship title in what has now become a truly global motorsport.

The United Arab Emirates city is the traditional start for the Red Bull Air Race World Series, and for its fourth consecutive race, a unique track will be set up over the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf next to the famous Corniche stretch. As at all races, spectators will enjoy amazing views of the action enabling them to really appreciate the extraordinary speed, skill and courage of these incredible sportsmen.

Racing just metres above the sea, the pilots will navigate 20 metre high inflatable pylons called ‘Air Gates’, flying at speeds reaching 400 km/h and pulling up to 10 g.

This year’s race track in Abu Dhabi will be different to previous years. For the first time ever, two separate Chicanes will be incorporated. Introduced in 2006, the ‘Chicane’ is an Air Gate made up of three to four single pylons positioned in a line. The pilots have to fly slalom through the Chicane and it is one of the biggest challenges on the track. If pilots do not manage to fly a perfect race line it could cost them valuable time or in the worst case result in penalty seconds. Normally conquering one Chicane during the track is hard enough. To make it even more challenging, the pilots will have to constantly adjust to the wind conditions in Abu Dhabi which are notoriously unpredictable.

In 2007, four million spectators attended the 10 races held worldwide and over 400 million watched the Red Bull Air Race World Series on television. After the drama of last season where the World Champion was only decided at the final race, the 2008 pilots, including newcomer Glen Dell from South Africa, have been working hard on their planes and strategies in preparation for this year’s competition.

The Red Bull Air Race takes place in close partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The picturesque blue skies and dramatic Abu Dhabi shoreline will provide a spectacular backdrop for the first round of the international motor sports championship which will be one of the Middle East’s most breathtaking events of the year.

Qualifying takes place on Thursday 10th April followed by Race Day on Friday 11th April.

ENDS

For further information and photos please register at the new Red Bull Air Race Newsroom which can be accessed via the ‘Press’ link on www.redbullairrace.com

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