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Red Bull Air Race Magazine - Perth 2010

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THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE PERTH, APRI L 17&18 4 AUD

STRAIGHT LINE

 Don’t waste time, go for it.  Matthias Dolderer has come  far,, but wants to go further  far FACELIFT

The French have upgraded their equipment, but is it  form over function? POWER GURU

 Ken Tunnell Tunnell is Ly-Con: Ly-Con: the engine builder that can do what others can’t

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THE ONE  Matt Hall was the rookie with promise, now he’s breathing down the leader’s neck

VISIT THE SHOP SHOP ON  ON THE EVENTGROUND OR GO TO REDBULLSHOP.COM

INSIGHT

CONTENT 

SHOW YOUR

WELCOME NOTE

PASSION

O

18 PORTRAIT Last year he was a rookie. This year Matt Hall is being hailed as a future champion

SUPPORT

PILOT

YOUR

RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

30 TECHNICS

34 BACKGROUND

Pretty and fast? More about Team 27’s plane redesign

Ken Tunnell is Ly-Con and is said to be the power-master

A look at the crazy,hot race that was the season opener in Abu Dhabi 10 BULLEVARD The winners winners and losers of the first round, the likely men of Perth and a mental ride through the racetrack over Swan River. Are race numbers just numbers, or is there more to it? Plus the functions of the cowling and a close-up of Martin Šonka’s body 18 PORTRAIT Matt Hall has shaken off the rookie label of last season. This year he's a podium and title contender, but in the meantime many others have also made it to this starting position. How is the Australian coping with expectations and what’s he really like? 26 INTERVIEW Matthias Dolderer takes direct routes, mainly because he doesn't like wasting energy and time on detours. His motto: “Full throttle, but fly safely. Safety always comes first.” 04 GALLERY GALLERY

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26 INTERVIEW

Dolderer  reveals strategies for the battle at the top

Team Ivanoff have given their plane a facelift. After lots of dedication and lots of investment, Abu Dhabi was a battle, so, the question is, did all their efforts pay off? 34 BACKGROUND What is it, that one man can do, that other’s can't? Find out more about California-based engine builder Ken Tunnell, who apparently knows how to get lots of power out of the Lycoming engine 40 TRAVEL Eight cities are hosting the races this year. Read our pleasure guide and find out what to see and do 44 PROFILES Close-ups of all 15 race pilots and the two types of aircraft flown 46 TH E RULES More about about the regulations governing the race, and an explanation of the format 48 CALENDAR All the 2010 2010 race stops 50 LOCATION All you need need to know for your race weekend 30 TECHNICS

n behalf of all Western Australians, ians, it is my pleasure to welcome pilots, teams, organisers, sponsors, media, volunteers and spectators to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Perth. I would like to extend a special welcome to those visiting from interstate and overseas. I hope you enjoy our warm Western Australian hospitality. The Red Bull Air Race is truly an extraordinary event and the last time the race was held in Perth, more than 340,000 spectators lined the banks of the Swan River. There will be plenty of thrilling air race action again this year, with spectators also being able cheer for a local hero, Australian pilot Matt Hall. Matt will be competing in Perth for the very first time. Aside from the excitement and spectacle of this international air race, if you are a visitor to WA, then we hope you will plan some time to experience the extraordinary sights and atmosphere in Perth and around the State. The Economist  magazine recently ranked Perth in the top 10 of the most liveable cities in the world, because of our city’s close proximity to wine growing areas, beaches and natural bush land. A highlight of any trip to Perth is a visit to the largest inner-city park in the Southern Hemisphere. At over 400 hectares, Kings Park offers commanding views over the Swan River to the city skyline and is home to the largest range of wildflowers in the world. I’m thrilled that Perth will be promoted to over 100 million prospective visitors in 130 countries through the television broadcast of this race set against the backdrop of the Perth city skyline and over the Swan River. I wish everyone involved in the Red Bull Air Race a very enjoyable and memorable experience. We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Dr Elizabeth Constable MLA MINISTER FOR TOURISM

IMPRINT THE RED BULLETIN GMBH,  Heinrich-Collin-Straße 1, 1140 Vienna,Austr ia e-mail:  [email protected] Managing Directors  Karl Abentheuer,Alexander Koppel Project Director Boro Petric Editor in Chief Nadja Žele Editor  Matt Youson Chief Sub-editor  Nancy James Turek,Marku s Kietreiber Designer Dominik Uhl Photo Editor/Photographer  Markus Kucera Illustrator  Dietmar Kainrath,S eso Media Group Art Directors Erik Turek,Marku Producers  Michael Bergmeister,Wolfgang Stecher Lithography  Josef Mühlbacher,Clemens Ragotzky Printed by Offset 5020,Bayernstraße 27,A-5072 Siezenheim www.redbulletin.com RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

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GALLERY

“It was miserably hot, it fe lt like working in a wind-blown furnace. Our luck ran out in the Final 4. The engine got heat soaked, it  simply kept vapour-locking and would not fire. We have fans to draw the air out after a flight, but there is only 15 minutes between the Super 8 and the Final 4. I knew our day was over.”  Michael Goulian, 4th Place in abu Dhabi

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“Although I hit two pylons during the race, I didn’t make any big mistakes and was flying safely. That means a lot to me, I feel I am evolving. I really need to continue improving, step-by step, and I’ll work hard for it. I know  I have a huge challenge ahead and  I’ll devote a lot to accomplish it.” 

Keeping the earth green

 Adilson Kindlem Ann, 14th in his debut rAce

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“I’m exhausted, but it has been a great day. I’ve got off to a good start in 2010. The set-up on the plane was perfect, I put down two clean runs. Fifth place is great, but what is better is that we could have made a podium finish. I can’t wait to be back in the track in Perth and build on this success. The top teams now have their eye on us!”  Pete McLeod on the hardest and craziest race so far 

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BULLEVARD

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

REVIEW 

Pos

WINDS OF CHANGE

1

The top men of Abu Dhabi. Nigel Lamb in second, Paul Bonhomme in first and Peter Besenyei in third.

Pilot

Nationality

Plane

Points

Paul Bonhomme

GBR

Edge 540

12

2

Nigel Lamb

GBR

MXS�R

10

3

Peter Besenyei

HUN

MXS�R

9

4

Michael Goulian

USA

Edge 540

8

5

Pete McLeod

CAN

Edge 540

7

6

Kirby Chambliss

USA

Edge 540

6

7

Matthias Dolderer

GER

Edge 540

5

8

Matt Hall

AUS

MXS�R

4

9

Nicolas Ivanoff

FRA

Edge 540

3

10

YoshihideMuroya

JPN

Edge 540

2

11

Hannes Arch

AUT

Edge 540

2

12

Alejandro Maclean

ESP

MXS�R

0

13

Martin Sonka

CZE

Edge 540

14

Adilson Kindlemann

BRA

MXS�R

0

15

SergeyRakhmanin

RUS

MXS�R

0

0

PREVIEW 

After the pre-season hype, the first race of the year was supposed to provide clarity; instead the race in the United Arab Emirates only served to muddy the waters. If there is any such thing as a typical air race, this most certainly was not it. There were disqualifications and technical retirements; those who did fly the complete course were knocking over pylons left and right. The heat was vicious, but the real villain was the changeable wind. Scientific racing and preparation went out the window as proceedings degenerated into the air racing equivalent of barroom brawl. Instinct and quick hands came to the fore. Luck played its part as well, for good and ill. Hannes Arch, the first to be disqualified, caused the biggest ripple of amazement back at the race airport. The Austrian, in his new aircraft, was a hot favourite to take back-to-back Abu Dhabi victories, but was ordered out of the course by race control, having dipped dangerously close to the water. Flying too high incurs a penalty; 10

RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

too low and it’s an early bath. Matthias Dolderer and Kirby Chambliss followed for the same offence. Dolderer is a relative newcomer, but Chambliss and Arch are both World Champions. These weren’t rookie errors; conditions were treacherous. Some pilots didn’t get to find out. Each round of the final had a non-starter. Alejandro Maclean failed to take to the air in the Top 12 with a fuel pump failure, Matt Hall missed out on the Super 8 with a flat battery and, cruellest of all, Michael Goulian was pulled out of the grid stand with a malfunctioning engine when due to take to the sky to compete in the Final 4. “It was the heat,”said a phlegmatic Goulian. “When the temperatures get that high, the fuel bubbles and it just won’t go.” Goulian’s retirement saw the Final 4 become the Final 3. Peter Besenyei flew first, but two penalties effectively took him out of the running, leaving Paul Bonhomme and Nigel Lamb to fight it out. Ignoring the conditions, Bonhomme flew

in his usual calm manner. Lamb, the last man flying, did the same; it was close, less than a second separating them, but he never managed to get on level terms with the world champion. The win takes Bonhomme to an even dozen victories. His passage, he might allow, was made simpler this time by the absence of several rivals, but on the other hand, Bonhomme always seems to have enough time in the aircraft to cope with the vagaries of the weather. Bonhomme started 2010 where he left off in 2009, putting clear air between himself and the chasing pack: “It’s fascinating what we’ve seen in Abu Dhabi. The wind changed direction and sorted everyone out. Temperature was also a factor. To keep your concentration up in these conditions was quite a task. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the race’s most experienced pilots were on the podium. Experience helps on days like these. You have to keep an eye on what happens and play the tactics just right.”

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PERTH The Red Bull Air Race arrives in Perth with most of the crews still shaking their heads and trying to figure out what happened in Abu Dhabi. As a barometer of form it was useless: too many disqualifications, technical problems and abnormal conditions to properly make any judgements. Instead, Perth will be where we really find out who has it, and who doesn’t – assuming the Freemantle Doctor is a little more gentle than the Arabian Simoom. Perth was missing from the 2009 calendar, much to the dismay of the race teams and their supporters, and everyone is highly delighted to see the Swan River return to the itinerary for 2010. The three previous runnings of the race have produced three different winners, and all are back this week attempting to double up. Both Paul Bonhomme and Peter Besenyei

were on the podium in Abu Dhabi, while Nicolas Ivanoff has a fast plane and a point to prove at a venue he loves racing at. There are plenty of other contenders: Hannes Arch’s new Edge 540 V3 looked fast and we definitely haven’t seen the best of it yet – and with only two points on the board, the Austrian has a lot of ground to make up on the Championship leaders. Nigel Lamb’s new winglets were a talking point in Abu Dhabi, though the jury is still out on whether they provide any real benefit. More certain is that after consecutive second places, Lamb would dearly love to go one better – and then there’s Australia’s own Matt Hall. Will local support provide a little extra horsepower, or will the weight of expectation add extra pressure? As always, there is only the one way to find out.

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TECHNICS

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

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 A fundamental redesign sees Team Ivanoff competing with a race plane very different to the stock Edge 540 of 2009. Nicolas’s priorities over the winter were to make it quick and make it pretty – though not necessarily in that order. WORDS: MATT YOUSON

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E  very sport has them. The wild cards. The competitors who frustrate; the ones  who stand on the periphery, threatening great things. They have their moments of brilliance, the days of when they become an unstoppable force of nature, but they have the other days too, where nothing  works, driving their legion of admirers to abject despair. Tennis had Goran Ivanišević, Formula One had Jean Alesi; the Red Bull Air Race has Nicolas Ivanoff.

The theory frequently advanced is that, given the right aircraft, the Corsican aviator could be a real title contender.  Arriving for 2009 with a new Zivko Edge 540, Ivanoff placed third in Abu Dhabi,  with the net fastest time. Round Two in San Diego was better; the speed remained, the wobbles vanished and he won at a canter. And then… nothing. While Paul Bonhomme and Hannes Arch ground out the podiums, mercurial Ivanoff

 went off the boil. “I made mistakes,” he acknowledges, “…but maybe there  were other factors as well.” The others factors to which he alludes  were a common cause of complaint. Like any motorsport, the Red Bull Air Race is a competition of machinery as much as it is a contest of human endeavour. “We started well last year, but I think some of the other pilots improved their planes mid-season, particularly with new engine RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

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1

3

TECHNICS

components. We stayed with the same engine right from the beginning of the  year. In the final races of the season I got the feeling that maybe I did not have as much power as some ot her pilots.” Once the racing concluded, Team Ivanoff went to work. While others could continue a process of technical evolution, for the French team, revolution  was the order of the day. “I had seen the modifications other pilots had made and of course I wanted some of that – but I didn’t want to catch up to 2009 for 2010, I wanted to jump directly to 2010,” says Ivanoff. Team manager Jean-Paul Kieffer disagrees: “That’s not quite true. Nicolas didn’t want to come into the present, he  wanted to go into the future.” The team decamped to Switzerland for the winter. Their first task was to digitalise the aircraft using an optical scanner. That process took the best part of a month, but with an accurate computer model the process of designing and fabricating new parts could begin. “We had decided to modify the skin of the fuselage,” explains Ivanoff. “We changed the canopy, the belly and the turtledeck. We also designed a new cowling, so essentially we rebuilt the plane from the propeller to the rudder. We used an aerodynamics engineer to refine the design and then we produced parts in Switzerland .” Pointedly, Ivanoff hasn’t sought to make modifications to the control surfaces of his Edge. While rivals are sporting redesigned wing tips, ailerons and rudders, he professes to be happy  with the package he has. “The plane felt good last year! I did not wish to change it by doing anything radical. We wanted more speed, which is why we have modified the fuselage, and also why we have a new engine that I hope will be as strong as the engines in other planes – but t he plane and the way it flew was very good.” The knock-on effects of the new fuselage manifest themselves all over the plane. The smaller canopy has in turn led to a cut-down dashboard, half the size of the original, for example. Most striking, are the redesigned engine exhausts. Packaging constraints made the team and its partners employ a radical alternative to the traditional underslung outlet, instead routing the exhaust through the sides of the fuselage, rather in the manner of a Dodge Viper. While winter modifications have been the rule rather than the exception, the work done by Team Ivanoff is most 32

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4 6

5 8

10

7

definitely at the more extreme end of the scale. In a sense it had to be; pilots  with slow planes had more slack to take up with conventional ideas, Ivanoff’s desire, however, was to turn a race winning aircraft into a title contender. It’s a smaller step but a steeper one. “It’s really hard to gain a second, you have to spend a lot of money trying to go faster – but that last second is the hardest to get,” says Nicolas who, having gambled

9

in the past on aircraft which ultimately proved uncompetitive, is well aware of  where gambling can get you. The new modifications, he says, required a massive collective effort, arguably as much as getting to grips with a new aircraft, but this time it’s a gamble with a hedge bet on the side… “Because everything we did, we can take back. The rudder, elevators and wings are the same; we only changed the fuselage and we still

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have all of the old parts; with a few weeks  work I could have my ‘classic’ plane back – but I don’t think it will come to that.” Over the last few seasons the Red Bull  Air Race has become an overwhelmingly technical sport. Whereas in the past a pilot alone might make the difference between  winning and losing, today even the most skilful aviator needs to have the r ight equipment as well – but this doesn’t imply that the sport has surrendered its reliance

on psychology. For all the good a fast plane does, often the confidence accrued from knowing you have a fast plane is equally important. Ivanoff is something of a maverick in this regard. He covets speed like anyone else, but also admits it can sometimes be a secondary co nsideration. “I wanted a fast plane, but first I wanted a beautiful plane. I would not  want to fly in anything ugly! I want to be happy when I walk into the hangar and

1 A CNC milling tool is used to create new moulds on which to built the new body 2 Canopy experts and Team Ivanoff technical partner Mecaplex create the new canopy 3 6 9 … the canopy was based on many days of development, with Nicolas enduring endless hours of inactivity while the bespoke unit was designed around him. 4 Ivanoff’s requirement for speed and aesthetic brilliance saw the team hand over project management to Swiss design house DesignUnity 5 The rst task of the winter was to use an optical scanner to create a digital mock-up of the aircraft 7 Only when this was completed could the design team get to work shaping the new fuselage 8 Team Ivanoff was not certain their new engine would arrive in time for the transfer to Abu Dhabi, so reassembled their aircraft with it’s 2009 engine installed… and then, of course, their new engine turned up and the process had to begin again. 10 With time running out fast, the team nally competed their work. Nicolas had time for 10 minutes’ practice before the Edge needed to be dispatched to Abu Dhabi.

see it; I need to be happy when I strap in to fly. You can design a beautiful shape using a computer, but then spoil it by adding ugly parts that don’t fit well, with big, uneven gaps between the panels. I  wanted to make sure that everything in our construction joins together perfectly, like you might see on a beautiful car like an Audi. It’s part of the reason I set up in Switzerland for the winter; attention to detail and quality are important there.” Ivanoff’s reputation for unpredictability  was proved out once again in Abu Dhabi. Despite being quick in the practice sessions, he took an early fall, failing to reach the Super 8 after accumulating eight penalty points in the Top 12 round. His exit promoted shrugs and rolled eyeballs back at the race airport; it is, after all, a very Ivanoff thing to do; but it  won’t have any bearing on Perth, site of Nicolas’s first Red Bull Air R ace victory. “I like the city, I like the location because there is a sense of adventure in going so far, and for me flying off a grass strip is like going back to my roots. It’s a very comfortable place to fly.”  A comfortable Nicolas Ivanoff in a very beautiful, very fast plane is something the other pilots should watch out for, because the thing about wild cards is that they have a habit of popping up and changing the game completely. RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

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BACKGROUND

 Almost all the pilots have set course towards one man for their engines  – and that man is Ken Tunnell. The chief and mastermind of Ly-Con in California guarantees a heavy  shot of power. But what is it that  gives his equipment the edge? Words: Nadja Žele

TUNNEL  VISIONS 34

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BACKGROUND

H

is business is booming. Ever since figurehead Hannes Arch showed what a Ly-Con-tuned engine can do when conquering the world championship’s summit – the title – in 2008, other teams have been starting to line up at Kenny’s shop. A real power booster that can play all the notes and doesn’t have any deficiencies is highly sought-after. This season, four engine tuners are providing material and expertise to the Red Bull Air Race teams. The big four players are: Barrett; Thunderbolt (part of engine supplier Lycoming); Unlimited  Aero Engines (Michael Goulian and Kirby Chambliss’s exclusive partner); and Ly-Con. The latter is, as he says, powering up 11 teams. Quite a number for a small company based in Visalia – an a gricultural city in California, 300km north of Los  Angeles. Can Ken Tunnell satisfy the hunger for more horsepower under the cowling? Plenty say that he can – and that’s what he says, too. The family business of Ly-Con has been in operation for 30 years now. “My brothers and I started our first business 36

RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

Old and new. In 2010 Ly-Con’s pistons are lighter (above, new piston on the left). “We have a line of pistons and we have all the tooling for making the raw part and the program to machine the parts.”

Now the engine builders have to use a certied crankshaft and connecting rod. “You can balance the part, but they don’t want you to make it lighter or to alter it in a way that it becomes unsafe.”

 with aircraft engines. Maybe we were  just dumb and got stuck in it or maybe it was our destiny. We just love what  we do,” says Ken Tunnell. None of them fly, however. Although, it’s enough if some of the 17 employees do. So, what is it that makes Ly-Con engines so desirable? “Maybe it’s the performance, airflow, the camshafts.” With vague statements, it’s impossible to proceed further in pursuit of useful information. We take the slow route and try to eke out details on the core fields of this tuner’s modus operandi. How does one get more power?  You have to do a lot of testing on the dynamometer, but you also have to spend time with engineers and try to figure out what the best technology is, to get performance while keeping it as safe as possible. We really are focusing on safety more than on performance. Some pilots got into trouble with the technical committee last season.  Your engine’s compression ratio  was higher than allowed...

Maybe the rules, the requirements, should have been a bit stricter. Is Part E not strict enough? The rules are stricter, safer and clearer now, so you know how to go about doing  your job. It’s more defined. Safety really should be the main consideration. In Budapest last year Rakhmanin’s engine blew up. That was yours, right? It can happen. If you do aerobatic-type manoeuvres with these things, they have  what you call an aerobatic oil system. If  you turn the engine upside down, then there is a ball and a device called a three way, and it goes in one direction, so that it picks up oil from the engine when it’s upside down. When you turn upright, the ball goes the other way and it picks up oil from the bottom. When you go inverted, then there’s a pickup in the back of the engine so that it can get oil, and if  you get it in any kind of manoeuvre in between that, to where either the ball is not seated and it’s sucking air into the oil pump, or it just gets into a position where it loses oil pressure momentarily, then the engine can blow up. The teams have

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a device they can put on called an accumulator that will hold oil pressure for the propeller, but only for a matter of seconds, so if you are in that manoeuvre for a long time, there’s still the chance the engine could over-rev. Well, an engine failure while racing  would be a big problem.  Yeah, to me there’s not too many places that it’s good for an engine to break, so that would be a big problem. It’s like any motorsport, if a part breaks, if something happens to make the engine not want to run, that’s going to be a problem. Would you say it’s the tuners or the race teams who tend to somehow forget about the safety aspect? It’s probably the engine builder guys, like myself. You get talked into trying harder instead of stepping back a little and doing more development and testing before  you put something out on the racetrack. How long is a part tested, before you put it into the plane? Part E has a specific thing where a part has to be run for a minimum of five hours in testing before going into a plane. When

“Thanks to Part E, you can’t just go and get something off a Volkswagen engine, bolt it on and say, ‘Hey, I think it’s going to work.’” they put it into the plane, then most of the guys will go and fly normally, just to make sure that all the systems work, that the bearings are polished and the rings are good and seated in and that everything works well. That’s before they start to do their manoeuvres. I’m not sure how long they fly them, but I would say that a minimum they would fly them is an extra five hours, and that there are some of them who would fly them as much as 15 hours before they do the aerobatic manoeuvres, just to make sure that everything is goo d, temperatures and oil. And maybe not all full throttle.

 Are some teams still talking you into racing projects which are a bit risky? When you are a competitive person, remember this is a competitive sport,  you always have this eagerness to do well and have something that the other teams don’t. People push to get there first and sometimes you get caught up in the excitement. You want to help them, when you really should have  just followed the guidelines and tried to remember the safety rules. How much do the pilots trust you,  what do you think? I’m sure they must trust us or they RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

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LOCATION

AREA MAP The second round of the 2010 Red Bull Air Race World Championship season takes place only metres over Swan River. Check out the viewing areas and the challenging racetrack. T

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For more inFormation visit www.redbullairrace.com

THE RACE SCHEDULE

SATURDAY,APRIL 17 � QUALIFYI NG DAY

SATURDAY,APRIL 18 � RACE DAY

9:30 Doors Open 10:30 Pre Show & Entertainment 12:30 Qualifying 1 13:30 Qualifying 2 16:30 Public Pitlane Walk at the Race Airport 17:00  Doors close

9:30 Doors Open 10:30 Pre Show & Entertainment 11:45 Race Starts, Wild Card 12:40 Top 12 13:20 Super 8 13:50 Final 4 14:45 Award Ceremony 17:00  Doors Close

* The schedule is subject to change.

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RED BULL AIR RACE MAGAZINE

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