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Red Bull air racers head to USRed Bull air racers head to US

U.S. pilot Kirby Chambliss races in the Red Bull World Championships Spielberg, Austria, event. Photo by Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool.

Kirby Chambliss climbed atop the Red Bull Air Race podium with a third-place finish in Austria Sept. 6 with Michael Goulian finishing in the middle of the pack of 14 racers. Next stops for the world venue race are Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 26 and 27, and Las Vegas on Oct. 17 and 18. AOPA members can get a special discount on ticket prices for both events.

Matt Hall upset Red Bull Air Race World Championship leader Paul Bonhomme to win the race, with Bonhomme finishing second in Austria. Bonhomme leads the racers in points accumulated since this year’s series began. The big news for Americans was the third-place finish of Chambliss, which puts him in eleventh place overall for points from all the races, just behind Goulian. Goulian finished seventh in Austria and is in tenth place in the overall standings.

Fourteen pilots from 11 nations have competed around the world this year in eight races, with trophies and awards for individual races and a grand prize for most points accumulated by the time the series ends.

Goulian has 10 points and Chambliss has nine. To break onto the podium, either would need to climb past 30 points to reach third place overall. Bonhomme, the leader, has 55 points overall. Racers compete by flying through pylons on a low-level slalom track. The pilots endure forces as strong as 10 Gs. The pylons are 25 meters (82 feet) high and easily come apart if they are struck by a wing, resulting in a points penalty for the pilot.

Kirby Chambliss, right, joins Austria Red Bull Air Race winner Matt Hall, left, of Australia, and second-place winner Paul Bonhomme of England on the podium. Chambliss placed third.. Photo by Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool.
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.
Topics: Air Racing, Events

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