Red Bull Air Racing Soared through Dallas

Check out our guest post from Let’s Go DFW host Dean Sommes

When Red Bull says they give you wings, they aren’t kidding.  On a hot and beautiful weekend of September 26th and 27th, fourteen stunt pilots took to the air in an event that has been recorded as the world’s fastest motorsport race, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.  By the time the season is over, the pilots will have travelled to seven countries on three continents, participating in four races over water and four over land.  The latest stop was Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Before the race, a crowd of over thirty thousand people explored the sponsor’s tents outside or trekked into the infield to examine the planes, which were lined up in hangers like fillies in their stalls before a horse race.

During the competition, pilots maneuver through a series of air gates, which are inflatable eighty-two foot pylons that resemble giant traffic cones and are stationed throughout a predefined course in the air.  The length of the course is just shy of four miles made up by two consecutive laps.  Each pilot takes turns flying individually in an attempt to finish with the fastest time.  Air racing is no small feat.  It demands extreme mental focus as well as physical strength, as the pilots will be flying over 230 miles per hour and pulling almost 10Gs of force around the corners.

The planes, specifically designed for aerobatics, cut through the air like a hot knife through butter, soaring at very low altitudes, zipping back and forth between the air gates, revving their engines like Le Mans drivers at a start line.  As one plane touches down on the makeshift runway in the middle of the infield, another is up in the air ready to begin his run.  Anticipation wells up within the crowd.  Will the stunt pilot hit a pylon?  Will he crash his plane?  Will he win?  The heats dwindle down over two hours until the final four pilots will race for the fastest time and a winner will be crowned the champion.  In this case, it was Paul Bonhomme from Great Britain.

The Red Bull Air Race is an event not to be missed.  If you happen to have missed it this year, don’t worry.  I was assured they will return to the greatest racing oval in the world next year.  Until then, keep your eyes to the sky.  You’ll never know what you’ll see.

Dean Somes is a host for Let’s Go, DFW, an entertainment show that airs on CBS.  He is also a published author, having written chapters in two financial investment books.  Dean can be seen out and about in Dallas at various events around town, jumping out of planes, racing cars at the track or scaling up a mountain somewhere in the world.  He can be found on Instagram at @thedaredevildean

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                  – published via DE-J Events editor Jasmine Ellis