The Russian sports capital of Kazan will host the high-speed, low-altitude action of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship for the third consecutive time on Saturday and Sunday, 15-16 June 2019. In the break since the race in Abu Dhabi, the 14 top-level international teams and pilots have been preparing flat out, determined to reboot their momentum for the air race summer showdowns. Add a double-header for the Challenger Class, and race weekend in Kazan will strike a chord with every motorsport fan.
Since the first race of 2019 in Abu Dhabi, the race teams have been hard at work preparing for the clash in Kazan. Many have modified their raceplanes, and their tacticians have been carefully studying the track, where a blustery 2017 race saw more than 60 pylon hits and last year just 0.181s separated the top three. Meanwhile, the pilots have been pulling G to stay fit and practicing on their custom simulators.
The Red Bull Air Race is the official World Championship accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Flying just metres above the Kazanka River, the 14 Master Class pilots will reach speeds up to 370 km/h and endure forces up to 12G in single-seat raceplanes, with the Kazan Kremlin as a backdrop. Each will fly against the clock while navigating a technical racetrack of air-filled pylons, which, in a safety feature, burst spectacularly if grazed by a wing. A feeder category, the Challenger Class, also competes at the race stops around the globe. Altogether across the Master Class and the Challenger Class, the 26 pilots represent 17 countries and six continents.
Pilots to watch in Kazan include 2017 World Champion Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) and defending titleholder Martin Šonka (CZE). Their rivalry is long and deep, and at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, Muroya edged Šonka for the win by just 0.003s. But Šonka brings the confidence of earning the race victory in Kazan last year. The USA’s Kirby Chambliss won in Kazan in 2017 and was third in 2018. Other previous podium finishers in the Tatarstan capital are Michael Goulian (USA) and Pete McLeod (CAN).
Master Class Qualifying will take off on Saturday, 15 June 2019. Race Day is Sunday, 16 June 2019, with two fierce initial rounds narrowing the field to the climactic Final 4.
Also part of history’s third Russian stop will be two Challenger Class races, with Challenger Cup 1 on Saturday and Challenger Cup 2 on Sunday. In all, eight pilots will fly in the feeder category across the weekend: Florian Bergér (GER), Kenny Chiang (HKG), Kevin Coleman (USA), Patrick Davidson (RSA), Sammy Mason (USA), Daniel Ryfa (SWE), Patrick Strasser (AUT) and Baptiste Vignes (FRA).
Flying just metres from the ground, 14 Master Class pilots race against the clock whilst reaching speeds of up to 370 km/h, requiring a combination of precision and skill unmatched in the world of aviation. Pilots must be in peak physical condition as they endure forces up to 12G while navigating the technical racetracks made up of air-filled pylons.
The Air Race was developed in 2003 and is accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), with more than 90 races completed across five continents. As the most advanced aerial challenge in existence, competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is the highest accolade for elite pilots. A Challenger Cup feeder series was introduced in 2014.
Watch what happens: Tickets are available now for the Red Bull Air Race return to Kazan, Russia on 15-16 June 2019. For ticket information and news, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Upcoming Red Bull Air Race stops
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Lake Balaton, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan