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Fast Speeds and Strong G's Highlight Red Bull Air Race Course

The minor changes made to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship circuit this year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will force pilots to slightly adjust their flying, but American star Kirby Chambliss said the new layout still has a very familiar feel to the 2016 course.

Red Bull Air Race officials recently issued details of the circuit through which 20 of the world’s best aerobatic pilots will fly Oct. 14-15 as the prestigious air racing series returns to IMS for the second consecutive year.

Fourteen Master Class and six Challenger Class pilots will fly on a course above the IMS oval infield. Planes race at low altitude while exceeding 200 mph and encountering forces of up to 10 G’s, navigating a low-level slalom track marked by 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons called Air Gates.

Course changes for 2017 include the finish Air Gate moving slightly later in the lap, preceded more closely than last year by another two-pylon Air Gate. Pilots are required to perform a dramatic vertical turn maneuver after flying level through the two-pylon finish Air Gate at the end of the first two of their three laps before returning to the circuit.

Pilots turn as quickly and efficiently as possible without pulling more than 10G’s in the vertical turn maneuver before flying toward the next gate.

Red Bull Air Race Course

“The track is very similar to last year's,” Chambliss said. “The vertical turn maneuver positioning may be just a little different so the judging there will change, but overall it will be much like last season. This helps us in a way because we are able to go back and review the footage from last year instead of starting from scratch.”

A new, single Air Gate also has been added to the course along the lake in the IMS infield, just before the start Air Gate. Pilots fly at a 90-degree angle, wings perpendicular to the ground, through single Air Gates.

The double Air Gate preceding the new single Air Gate next to the infield lake also has moved from the end of the lake to the right side of the water, providing a smoother lead-in to the new single Air Gate.

World champions in both classes will be crowned at IMS from a field featuring pilots from all over the world, including Americans Chambliss, Michael Goulian and Kevin Coleman. Two-time series world champion Chambliss is fourth in the tight Master Class standings with 52 points, 11 behind leader Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic.

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Red Bull Air Race Course
 
Fast Speeds and Strong G's Highlight Red Bull Air Race Course
The minor changes made to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship circuit this year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will force pilots to slightly adjust their flying, but American star Kirby Chambliss said the new layout still has a very familiar feel to the 2016 course.
Read More
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