Abu Dhabi, for the fifth time, will host the inaugural Red Bull Air Race of 2009.
Along with the Emirates' capital hosting in 2009, Abu Dhabi has signed and sealed a contract with the Red Bull Air Race to host the traditional season opener in 2010 and 2011. Along with that, 2008 Red Bull Air Race champion Hannes Arch will be carrying the city's name throughout the 2009 season.
The planes have arrived, the pilots are getting warmed up, and the track is set up.
Abu Dhabi's racetrack is different from the 2008 track. The biggest difference is the fact that there is only one chicane in the track this year, as opposed to two last year.
Entering the track involves coming in from the direction of the flagpole and immediately encountering a chicane. Once that is finished, a right turn is executed to go through a pair of blue gates, and another right turn goes into a quadro.
Once executing a 270 degree turn after the first pass through the quadro and completion of the gate, the pilot enters two pairs of blue gates, until he puts himself in a half-Cuban eight, and returns back into the track to finish his first lap through a pair of blue gates and starts his second and last lap.
In comparison to previous tracks from 2008, Abu Dhabi's track is a much simpler track to go through than last year's, and much less technical than other tracks like Detroit, Budapest, or San Diego in 2008.
With that said, an image of the track available on the Red Bull Air Race's website should give some perspective as to how it should be flown.
Image courtesy of www.redbullairrace.com