Airline World Blog started a column that follows the events of this year’s Red Bull Air Race. Here you can read the first article that explains the race and presents the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Britain’s Paul Bonhomme defeated American Mike Mangold in San Diego on Sunday in a dramatic final showdown pitting the two dominant pilots of the last two Red Bull Air Race World Series seasons. It was another dazzling precision performance by the British ace, unbeaten in the first two races of 2008. Kirby Chambliss of the United States grabbed third place by beating Hannes Arch of Austria in the 3rd Place Fly-Off.
Bonhomme, who lost to Mangold by a heart-breaking fraction of a second in the 2007 World Series, gained a measure of revenge on his American rival with the hard-earned victory in front of a crowd of 63,000 spectators watching from the shores of San Diego Bay. Although Bonhomme made it look easy with his elegant style of flying through the challenging obstacle course just above the water, he was breathing hard and drenched in sweat after returning to the runway set up on the U.S. Naval Air Station on North Island. He won the final with a time of 1:18.01 to 1:19.24 for Mangold.
“I do like San Diego,” said Bonhomme, who also won the race in “America’s Finest City” last year. “I’m very pleased to take the win. All I can say is that it’s hard work. I’m chuffed to bits that we won. The guys on the team have done a brilliant job. But it’s not a walk in the park. And if anybody says they expect it to be easy, I would say it’s hard work and getting harder all the time. These other guys are not standing still.”
More than 120,000 fans attended the two-day race weekend lining the shores of San Diego Bay.