650 000 spectators lined up on the banks of the Danube River back in 2009, when the last Red Bull Air Race took place in the Hungarian capital. After a six year break, the Red Bull Air Race returns to Budapest.
The specially designed aerial racetracks used in the Red Bull Air Race series are unlike any other. The high-speed, low-altitude sport can take place both over water, such as at the beautiful Corniche in Abu Dhabi, and on land, such as on the world-renowned EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. However, the next race of the series is taking place over Danube River in Budapest from 4th to 5th of July.
The racetrack in Budapest spans the Danube River, making it one of the most unique racetrack in the calendar. The iconic background of the neo-gothic Parliament building on the Pest side of the river provides a stunning panoramic view for spectators. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the Europe, Budapest is considered a central hub for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Peter Besenyei, the famous Hungarian pilot, has competed in every single race since the championship began, and is still joint third on the most race victories list. In recent seasons, however, he has seen the competition overtaking him, so it was high time to make a change. This change has come in the form of a new race plane, which is the most popular aircraft in the championship (Edge 540 V3). It replaces his Corvus Racer 540, which was the only non-American aircraft in the series.
Pilots competing need to have the best in terms of technology and aircraft. “I must say that the Hungarian aeroplane is amazing. It is not only nice, but great to fly with,” explained Besenyei. “But neither the profile of the wing nor the fuselage are appropriate for the Red Bull Air Race’s challenging requirements. It’s a super aerobatic aircraft and it is a really pleasant feeling to fly with, but I lost almost one second on each vertical turning manoeuvre,” he added.
It was a tough decision for the Hungarian pilot, but eventually he chose the Edge V3 race plane. “Last winter, I had to make a decision, and I chose the Edge V3,” said Besenyei. “Although I can still make mistakes with this new plane, I will have much more chance to win,” he added.
The full programme in chronological order
4th of July, Saturday
09:30 CHAIN BRIDGE CLOSURE
10:00 Doors open
10:00 Calibration flight
10:15 Side Act – Szebastian Szolath wakeboarding
10:45 CHALLENGERS – Training
12:00 Side Act – Lords of Gravity
13:00 Side Act – Flying Bulls
13:30 Side Act – US Air Force A-10 Warthog
13:50 MASTERS – Training
15:15 Opening Ceremony
15:20 CHALLENGERS – Qualifying
16:00 MASTERS – Qualifying
17:10 Side Act – Military combined show
17:40 Chain bridge opening
17:40 Side Act – Lords of Gravity
19:00 Door close
5th of July, Sunday
11:00 Doors open
11:30 Side Act – Gravity Academy
11:30 Chain Bridge closure
12:00 Side Act – Pal Takats paragliding
12:15 Calibration flight
12:20 Side Act – Lords of Gravity
12:50 Side Act – Szebastian Szolath wakeboarding
13:00 CHALLENGER CUP
13:45 Side Act – Gravity Academy & Lords of Gravity
14:30 Side Act – Military combined show
15:00 MASTERS – Round of 14
16:00 Side Act – Lords of Gravity
16:10 Side Act – Breitling Superconstellation
16:15 CHALLENGERS – Winners Ceremony
16:20 Side Act – Breitling Superconstellation
16:30 Side Act – Flying Bulls
17:00 MASTERS – Round of 8
17:30 MASTERS – Final 4
17:55 MASTERS – Winners Ceremony
18:00 Side Act – JAS 39 Gripen
18:10 Chain Bridge opening
19:00 Doors close
More information HERE.
written by Gábor Hajnal