November 17, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
There will be no Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2012, extending a one-year break for the 2011 season.
“There will be no races in 2012, that’s true,” said Red Bull Air Race Team spokesperson Nadja Zele in an email message to AOPA. “A revamped concept and a fixed race calendar will be revealed in 2013.”
The statement announcing the 2011 postponement said that the racing organization planned to “fast track” technological advancements to further improve safety. Also, “There is a need to revise the main organization and commercial areas to realize the full potential of the sport including the development and reinforcement of strong host city partnerships which would secure a long term race calendar,” it said.
AOPA reported in August 2010 on the abrupt cancellation of the 2011 race series. That decision followed an early end to the 2010 races, during which several mishaps occurred.
The series features high-speed racing at low altitude over water-borne pylon courses, and has grown to become a major tourism draw for the cities where it was held.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor.
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