The Red Bull Air Race World Championship has returned from a three-year break in the bright blue skies over Abu Dhabi. Taking pictures of the fastest sport event on the planet is just so much more than a challenge. In the Red Bull Air Race pilots race against the clock as they try to navigate their racing planes as fast as possible through a challenging low-altitude slalom course filled with Air Gate obstacles. The pilots reach speeds of up to 370 kilometers per hour and endure forces of up to 10Gs in the tight turns on courses.
Photographic opportunities are huge because you can apply a variety of photographic techniques and different lenses to capture the most interesting moments of the race (in the true meaning of the word moment).
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship season opener in Abu Dhabi returned from a three-year break. The 2014 season promises to be more competitive than ever before because all 12 pilots will be flying with standardized engines and propellers for the first time to level the playing field and putting a premium on flying skills and less on engine power. The capricious winds of Abu Dhabi made this race track especially challenging. Winds were blowing steadily in one direction before abruptly changing and blowing in the opposite direction just moments later. The track stretches out for some eight kilometers over the turquoise waters in front of the city’s Corniche Road. Temperatures in the arid region can rise well above 30 degrees C in late February.
ABOUT RED BULL AIR RACE
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an official World Championship, accredited by the FAI – The World Air Sports Federation. Since it was officially launched, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has become globally renowned as the fastest and most exhilarating motorsport on the planet. Devised by the Red Bull sports think-tank, the initial goal was to create the most advanced aerial challenge the world had ever seen; what has evolved into the Red Bull Air Race we know today has far exceeded any original expectations. It is a visual spectacle unlike any other. A combination of high speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability make it only accessible to the world’s most exceptional pilots. 12 pilots are competing in the Master Class category in eight races across the globe for the title of 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Champion. The objective is to navigate an aerial racetrack featuring air-filled pylons in the fastest possible time, incurring as few penalties as possible. Pilots can win World Championship points at each race and the pilot with the most points after the last race of the season becomes the Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
And in a change from previous seasons, during 2014 all 12 pilots are racing with a standardized propulsion package – a high-performance, race-tuned standardized engine and standardized propellers. An exciting new feature of the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship is the debut of the new Challenger Cup, giving a new generation of talented pilots from around the world a chance to experience the thrills of the sport. The eight outstanding new pilots from seven different nations will be racing for Challenger Cup points, and the even more valuable Red Bull Air Race track experience on Qualifying Days of the World Championship. The twin aims of the Challenger Cup are to give promising young pilots the chance to develop their low-altitude flying skills under racing conditions and thus further enhance the overall safety of the world’s fastest motorsport series.