WINDSOR, ON, June 1 /CNW/ - Kirby Chambliss (USA) beat Paul Bonhomme
(GBR) in a spectacular Red Bull Air Race World Series battle in
Detroit-Windsor today in front of a crowd of 750,000 U.S. and Canadian
spectators. Chambliss was clocked in at a winning time of 1:12.08, just 0.15
seconds faster than Bonhomme (1:12.23) in the third race of the 10-stop 2008
World Series. It was Bonhomme's first loss of the season after winning the
first two races in Abu Dhabi and San Diego. The Brit still leads the
competition with 26 points but Chambliss has proven he can be beaten.
"I went crazy up there and went out as fast as I could fly," said
Chambliss after one of the most exciting races on the most difficult course
ever seen in the four-year history of the Red Bull Air Race World Series.
Chambliss, the 2006 champion, had watched Bonhomme beat Austria's Hannes Arch
moments earlier in a fantastic semi-final duel with a blistering time of
1:10.01. "It was only fractions of a second separating us in the end," said
Chambliss. "He'd just run a 1:10 and I was pretty sure he was going to beat
me. I thought it was going to be impossible for me to beat that. I was pretty
happy up there."
Huge crowds lined the shores of the Detroit River in the first ever
Red Bull Air Race to take place on the border of two nations, the United
States and Canada.
Arch took third with a clean run and a time of 1:12.73, beating American
Mike Mangold (1:15.44) in the 3rd Place Fly-Off. Arch, who joined the World
Series just last season, is the surprise package of 2008 with second place in
the first race in Abu Dhabi, fourth in San Diego and now third in
Detroit-Windsor. Arch especially showed his class with a dazzling time of
1:11.71 in the semi-finals. He was pleased to have posted the second fastest
time of the day on the course, widely acknowledged as the most difficult ever
run because of the winds and the second lap being flown in reverse order.
Racing in Detroit-Windsor was hampered by heavy winds that forced the
cancellation of the Qualifying sessions on Saturday. But the 12 pilots more
than made up for that with one of the most breathtaking and exciting races
seen to date, with pilots bettering the previous time in almost every run.
After two back-to-back races in the United States, the competition moves
to Europe next month with the next race in Stockholm, Sweden on the 5 & 6
In the Red Bull Air Race World Series, the world's best pilots race
through a low level aerial track made up of 20 metre (65 feet) high inflatable
pylons known as 'Air Gates', at speeds reaching 370 km/h (230 mph) and pulling
up to 10 g.
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