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Texas turnabout

As leaders slip, Red Bull championship tightens up

A two-day total crowd of more than 40,000 spectators watched the Red Bull Air Race World Championship tighten up, with top contenders dropping back in the pack as tight turns, heat, and tricky winds of Fort Worth, Texas, provided one of the toughest challenges of the season.

French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff climbed to fifth place in the championship standings with his Sept. 7 win at Texas Motor Speedway, and British pilot Nigel Lamb pulled even in the championship standings with Hannes Arch following a second-place finish in Fort Worth. Both trail by a single point British pilot Paul Bonhomme, whose fifth-place finish in Fort Worth was good enough to put him in the series lead, with 45 points to 44 each for Arch, who finished eighth, and Lamb.

Nicolas Ivanoff of France. Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool.
Nicolas Ivanoff of France won the sixth stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by Andreas Schaad/Red Bull Content Pool.

The top trio will battle it out for the championship in two remaining races, including Las Vegas on Oct. 10 and 11, and the final race of the season: Oct. 25 and 26 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.

American pilots Kirby Chambliss and Mike Goulian continued to struggle on the first of two U.S. courses flown, finishing at the back of the pack (and remaining there in the championship race as well). Ivanoff, despite capturing his first victory of the season, is also unlikely to challenge the top three pilots, though he did make some history on Sept. 7, according to Red Bull: The Texas event was the first air race ever held inside a motor speedway in the U.S., with aircraft using the infield as a runway—also a first. 

The Texas event will be televised Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1.

Jim Moore
Jim Moore
Managing Editor-Digital Media
Digital Media Managing Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: People, Travel, U.S. Travel

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