International rookies eye Red Bull Air Race title

November 20, 2008

Photo Credit: Red Bull Air Race/Daniel Grund Photo Credit: Red Bull Air Race/Daniel Grund

Four rookie pilots, one only 24 years old, will join the ranks of those competing for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship title in 2009.

The youngest of the new pilots, Canada’s Pete McLeod, says his goal is to win the title before he is 30. Also joining the air race circuit are Japan’s Yoshihide Muroya, the first Red Bull competitor from Asia; Matt Hall, Australia’s first contender for the title; and Matthias Dolderer of Germany.

Before being selected to compete in next year’s championship, all four pilots had to prove their mettle at the Red Bull Air Race Qualification Camp in Casarrubios, Spain. Two other pilots also attended the camp but were not selected to compete.

All the newcomers have their eyes on 2008 champion Hannes Arch, who joined the Red Bull circuit in 2007. His quick rise to the top of the podium is something the rookies hope to emulate.

A total of 12 pilots competed for the title in 2008, but the number of competitors may increase for next year air race officials said.

The Red Bull Air Race combines low-level flying with pylon courses requiring aerobatic maneuvers to create exciting aerial events held at locations around the world.