Formula One of the skies: The Red Bull Air Race, part 2: The venues
The Red Bull Air Race is very unique in the sense that a track does not have to be built by Hermann Tilke and the fact that the course made can be over land, over water, or both. In that sense, that leaves a lot of places that have open air to host a race.
The first stop on the calendar, for the fourth year in a row on April 10th, is the Port of Mina Zayid in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. For two days, this port which has helped develop and prosper the UAE at such a fast pace will witness the high-flying spectacle of some of the most talented stunt pilots in the world.
Next up is a double header in the United States. The race makes its next stop on May 3rd in San Diego along the many beaches of one of the finest cities. After San Diego comes Detroit, known for being the car capital of the world, Detroit will be transformed into "aero-city" for two days starting May 31.
Just over a month later (July 5), the race heads to Stockholm for the first time. The inner harbour will showcase the talent and the competition that has been happening since Abu Dhabi.
Rotterdam comes up in two weeks (July 19) after Stockholm, with the North and South sections of the city coming to Erasmusburg ("Erasmus Bridge") to witness the high-flying stunts.
Two weeks after (August 2), we end up in London on the River Thames. Combine air racing with some world class attractions in a world class city and we will all have a great time!
Hungary comes up after (August 19). The home of the Red Bull Air Race's first champion, Peter Besenyei, expect the crowds to line up along the banks of the Danube to cheer on their hometown hero to victory. The race has been held here since 2003, and it never disappoints.
Up after Hungary we head to Northern Portugal to the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia (September 6), the cities of bridges. This will be the second time that these cities will have hosted an air race, and by the looks of it, it was such a success that returning would be the only sensible thing to do. The pilots will navigate themselves under bridges and around the course set against medieval narrow streets, ancient shops and Baroque monuments. Surely something to watch and enjoy.
Up next (September 27) is Spain. More information will be available soon about the venue.
And the final stop on the calendar will head down under to Perth, Australia (November 5). This will be the final showdown of the 2008 season, so expect some amazing stuff to happen here.
Overall, 10 venues, the same number as the 2007 season. Expect some high flying, close calls and slick maneuvers. Coming up next, a brief history of the Red Bull Air Race.
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