The fifth race weekend of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race world championship developed into a real battle of nerves which stretched pilots to the very limit. 40,000 spectators watched as British pilot Paul Bonhomme secured his second home win at Royal Ascot just outside London.
In the Round of 14, Bonhomme came up against Austrian Hannes Arch, who had been troubled by engine problems during qualifying. In the race itself, however, Arch outpaced the Briton with a great flight and fastest time of the day! Still, the local hero also moved into the round of the best eight as the fastest loser.
The Austrian’s supporters could hardly believe their eyes, though, when his engine stalled again on the way to the finals! Arch had to watch from the ground as Bonhomme flew to victory and extended his overall lead in the world championship standings. Matt Hall moved into second position in the rankings with second place in Ascot. Arch is third with three race weekends to go before the end of the season.
"And that’s why I’m here, to fight. I would love to have beaten Paul."
Hannes Arch was bitterly disappointed, saying: "It's frustrating when you know you're well placed but don’t get the chance to join in the fight. And that’s why I’m here, to fight. I would love to have beaten Paul." Still, the Austrian can be encouraged by the fact that the next race on the schedule is his home fixture in Spielberg.
Next round in Spielberg
The world tour of the fastest motorsport series on the planet now takes the Red Bull Air Race pilots to Austria (September 5th/6th). But how do the planes get to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg? It’s dead simple. Official logistics partner DHL takes care of everything. A Boeing 747 transports the planes around the world during the season. For the Austrian guest round, that entails the following: After arriving at the airport in Graz, the aircraft is unloaded along with all the equipment needed, the grid stand, the race club, the hangars and the TV broadcasting center. The pilots then fly themselves to the race track.
Tightly organized logistics are responsible for ensuring that the race aircraft can take to the air in eight host cities in seven countries around Europe, North America and Asia as the race calendar dictates and that the extensive range of equipment of all the racing teams and associated infrastructure arrive in good time on site. After the opener in Abu Dhabi and the first race in Japan in world championship history, the equipment was transported by two Boeing 747 cargo planes to Graz airport in May for this year’s four European races (Rovinj, Budapest, Ascot 15th/16th August, Spielberg 5th/6th September). More than 150 people work on site just on the core event which involves pilots, their teams and technicians.