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Americans struggling to catch Red Bull leadersAmericans struggling to catch Red Bull leaders

At the Abu Dhabi Air Races Winner Hannes Arch of Austria charges through the pylons in Abu Dhabi. Photo courtesy Andrew Parsons

American pilots place seventh, ninth, and fourteenth in the first round of this year’s Red Bull Air Race series that started with a race April 18 in Abu Dhabi.

Hannes Arch of Austria came from behind to win over Britain’s Paul Bonhomme (placing second) on a sizzling hot day in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Nicolas Ivanoff of France stormed onto the podium with third place, while Britain’s Nigel Lamb established himself as a force to be reckoned with this year, taking fourth.

Among American pilots, Mike Mangold finished seventh, Kirby Chambliss finished ninth, and Mike Goulian finished fourteenth.

In the race, pilots fly through a low level track made up of 20-meter (65 feet) high inflatable pylons known as air gates at speeds reaching 230 mph. They pull as many as 12 Gs. They race next in San Diego on May 9 and 10, the one and only race in the United States this year.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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