The 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 fly individually against the clock and have to complete tight turns through a slalom course consisting of pylons, known as “Air Gates”. Red Bull Air Race World Championship Series organisers have cancelled all events scheduled for 2011 and 2012 worldwide.
The races are held mainly over water near cities, but are also held at airfields or natural wonders. They 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. The events attract large crowds and are broadcast, both live and taped, in many nations.
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 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 series were won respectively by the pilots Mike Mangold, Kirby Chambliss, Hannes Arch and Paul Bonhomme (2009 and 2010).
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.