As the Official Logistics Partner of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, DHL is managing the transportation of the lightweight racing planes, spare parts, fuel and other racing equipment as well as the television and broadcasting equipment around the world for this global race series. DHL taps its intelligent logistics expertise to support the Red Bull Air Race organizers, using appropriate transport modes - including ocean, air and road freight - in order to ensure on-time delivery in the most environmentally friendly way.
The Red Bull Air Race held a meeting in Russia for the first time in its history. At Kazan where the rivers Volga and Kazanka meet, Pete McLeod posted the DHL Fastest Lap for the third time in a row and qualified in P1. The Canadian flew a time of 26.881 seconds on Saturday, which no one was able to better. McLeod finished second in the race on Sunday and was only beaten by Kirby Chambliss, who now leads the World Championship.
The world's fastest motor sport series was back in Europe for the first time as the fourth meeting of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race got under way. The venue was Budapest, the Hungarian capital. Pete McLeod took victory in qualifying and with it, the DHL Fastest Lap on what just happened to be the 150th anniversary of his home country, Canada. The clock stopped ticking for McLeod after just 59.508 seconds, and he remained the only pilot to crack the one-minute benchmark figure. In the race on Sunday, the Canadian booked second place and was beaten only by Kirby Chambliss.
The third Red Bull Air Race meeting of the season was held in Chiba, Japan, after a two-month break. Local pilot Yoshihide Muroya won, as he did last year, sending the 55,000 fans around the circuit wild. Pete McLeod got the best line in qualifying and secured the DHL Fastest Lap with a time of 54.609 seconds. This was the Canadian's first win in a quali since the race in Las Vegas in 2014.
The Red Bull Air Race circus headed to San Diego for the second leg of the season, to the birthplace of California, also known as 'America's finest city'. Matthias Dolderer secured best time and the DHL Fastest Lap in qualifying with a 28.684 seconds, but the reigning world champion was beaten by Yoshihide Muroya in the race, who took his second win of his Red Bull Air Race career. Peter Podlunsek finished on the podium for the first time in an unexpected turn of events.
The season opener of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race season took place against the backdrop of Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking skyline. The first DHL Fastest Lap of the year was secured by American Mike Goulian, who posted a best time of 25.672 seconds in qualifying on Saturday. In the race, Goulian finished sixth and was beaten by a number of pilots, including Martin Sonka. The Czech pilot claimed his maiden victory in the Red Bull Air Race and was followed home by Juan Velarde and Pete McLeod to complete the party on the podium. The meeting in Abu Dhabi was the 75th Red Bull Air Race in the history of the event!
Following the cancelation of qualifying in Las Vegas, the eighth and last race of the year also had to be stopped during the "Round of 14" because of the continuing stormy conditions. There have been six different winners of the DHL Fastest Lap, but as Red Bull Air Race World Champion Matthias Dolderer collected the prize in both Budapest and Ascot, he has been named the overall winner.
"Winning this is another plus to the season. It's always nice to be fastest in Qualifying and it's acknowledged that we've been on the right path all season. I could get used to collecting trophies!" said Dolderer.
During the campaign, DHL also offered the chance for one fan to win the chance to be at the final in Las Vegas. The entrants had to guess the time of the DHL Fastest Lap at the Eurospeedway in Lausitz. Chooi Kim Lam from Malaysia was the closest guessing 26.319s. Nigel Lamb collected the fastest time with 26.315s, just 0.004s different. "It's unbelievable to be here and present this award. I predicted my time by looking at the practice times at Lausitz and worked out what it would be for Qualifying. I was very excited to be here," said Lamb.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway – not only the largest sports stadium in the United States but also the biggest motor racing venue in the world – hosted the Red Bull Air Race World Championship for the first time. Japan’s Yoshihide Muroya dominated qualifying on Saturday and picked up the DHL Fastest Lap Award with a time of 1:02.073 minutes. It was also a new record for the circuit. Germany’s Matthias Dolderer won the race on Sunday to clinch this year’s title ahead of the season finale.
In the final fixture of this season's Red Bull Air Race to be contested in Europe, Nigel Lamb posted the DHL Fastest Lap. The British flyer clocked a time of 26.315 seconds at the Lausitzring to finish top in qualifying. In the race itself, however, Lamb failed to progress very far, going out in the Round of 14. The winner was Australia's Matt Hall ahead of local favorite Matthias Dolderer and Pete McLeod from Canada.
World championship leader Dolderer posted the DHL Fastest Lap once again at Ascot as he had done in Budapest. The German set a time of 1:05.038 minutes in Saturday's qualifying, making him the fastest pilot in the field. However, Dolderer was beaten on Sunday by Australian Matt Hall, who won the race at Royal Ascot Racecourse not far from London.
Terrible weather conditions – strong winds and rain – completely messed up the program for the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest. As qualifying could not take place, the DHL Fastest Lap was awarded in the race on Sunday. With a time of 58.653 seconds, Matthias Dolderer could not be beaten in the Round of 8. Conditions were too bad to stage the Final 4, so the German’s time stood and he was also declared the winner, extending his lead in the standings as a result.
With qualifying at Chiba having been canceled due to bad weather, an exception was made and the DHL fastest lap was awarded during the race itself. The trophy went to the Czech Republic’s Martin Sonka, who set a time of 1:04.352 minutes in the Round of 14. Sonka eventually lost out in the general classification to Japanese local favorite Yoshihide Muroya. The Red Bull Air Race was watched by 50,000 enthusiastic fans.
Local pilot Hannes Arch rose to the challenge on home turf by securing the DHL fastest lap at the second Red Bull Air Race fixture in Spielberg. The Austrian posted a time of 25.822 seconds on the first round of his second qualifying run. On Sunday, Arch had to concede victory to Matthias Dolderer but at least had the consolation of the runner-up spot in his home race and a first podium appearance.
Matt Hall was the first pilot ever to post a DHL fastest lap in the Red Bull Air Race. Against the backdrop of the impressive skyline of the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the Australian covered the pylon circuit in 28.863 seconds on his second qualifying run at the season opener in Abu Dhabi. Hall placed second in the race and was only beaten by the winner, Paul Bonhomme.