The 2016 dates for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship were announced today, and the 8-stop world tour will conclude with two stops in the US. The 7th stop will take place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN before the series wraps up by returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. The stop in Indianapolis already has Midwest airshow fans abuzz as it is the first stop in the region since 2010. The full 2016 schedule is below.
- March 11-12 – Abu Dhabi, UAE
April 23-24 – Spielberg, Austria
TBD – Japan
July 16-17 – Budapest, Hungary
August 13-14 – Ascot, Great Britain
September 3-4 – Lausitzring, Germany
October 1-2 – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
October 15/16 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Each race will be broadcast in the US on Fox Sports 1 on a schedule to be announced later.
Each air race is arranged as a time trial event. Carefully selected pilots from around the world fly small aerobatic planes such as Edge 540s and Extra 300s through gates made of inflatable pylons. These pylons are specially designed to not damage the aircraft in the frequent event of contact. There are multiple rounds per event and the pilot with the fastest time through the course is the winner.
The flexible setup allows the course to take on a new layout at each race location, often in a small footprint. While many of the earlier events took place over open water, race tracks have seemingly become a favored location since they do not have many tall obstacles, the track can be used as a temporary airport, and the crowd can sit in pre-existing grand stands.
The series was created in 2003 and soon branched out from Europe to the US and around the world. Previous US events have been held in Monument Valley, Reno, San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit (along with adjacent Windsor, Ontario), and New York City. The races were not held in 2011, 2012, or 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the series concluded with stops in Texas and Las Vegas. Stops outside the US have included Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the UAE, and more.