Red Bull's Air Race World Championship is back
Red Bull takes to the skies after a three-year hiatus
Red Bull, as they say, "gives you wiiings", but it only seemed like a cool catchphrase for an energy drink till the time we stumbled upon Red Bull's Air Race World Championship. Here, you actually do fly, but in a racing aircraft, battling it out with several other pilots.
It's not new, this racing series: the Air Race has been around since 2003, but it went on a small break - which happened to be three years - before returning in 2014 with a set of rule changes. This year, all aircrafts use the same Lycoming Thunderbolt engine, as well as the same propeller, which means that winning races is now purely down to the pilots' skills.
This is how it works - the race is usually conducted above water (or in some cases, above airfields or race tracks), where the pilots have to tackle an obstacle course dotted with "Air Gates", or pylons, to make it simpler. There are two Training Days, followed by the Qualifying Day and finally, the Race Day. The four fastest pilots compete in the Final 4 category, and the one who goes quickest wins the race.
The first round of the 2014 championship was staged in Abu Dhabi this weekend, with reigning champion Paul Bonhomme seeing off his arch rival, Hannes Arch by the slimmest of margins. The series moves on to Croatia for the next race, which will be the second of eight races scheduled across six countries and three continents this season. If it takes your fancy, you can catch the next round on telly on April 12-13 at 16:00 IST on Sony Six.