In a stunning turn of events, the Red Bull Air Race series will shut down operations for good following a shortened 2019 season. Red Bull announced the news today, explaining that the air racing did not attract the level of outside interest that other Red Bull events do.
The Red Bull style of air racing features pilots flying small, nimble aerobatic aircraft between inflatable pylons at low altitude. This type of air racing started in 2003, and nearly 100 events have been held around the world.
Just three more events will be held in the now-shortened 2019 season; Kazan, Russia, 15-16 June; Lake Balaton, Hungary, 13-14 July and Chiba, Japan, 7-8 September. Other planned races in Indianapolis and Saudi Arabia have been canceled. Ticket holders will be issued refunds.
This is not the first time the racing series has been shut down; the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons were cancelled as well during an organization revamp. Unfortunately, this announcement feels quite permanent.
Here is the full announcement from Red Bull:
Red Bull has decided not to continue the Red Bull Air Race World Championship beyond the 2019 season. The remaining races this year are: Kazan, Russia, 15-16 June; Lake Balaton, Hungary, 13-14 July and Chiba, Japan, 7-8 September.
There have been more than 90 races since Red Bull Air Race began in 2003. These have given the world’s most exceptional pilots the opportunity to compete in high speed flying at low altitude with extreme maneuvers. The Red Bull Air Race provided sports entertainment of highest quality but did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events across the world.
Red Bull thanks the pilots, their teams, partners, the host cities as well as the Red Bull employees for all they have done to make these enjoyable and memorable events.