WINDSOR, ON, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will return to Windsor, Ontario in 2010 after the Canadian city hosted one of the most exciting races in the sport's history last year. 15 of the world's best race pilots will be battling it out on 5-6 June at the 4th stop in the 9-race championship. A 2-year agreement means that Windsor will also be a fixture in the 2011 season.
"We're really excited to be returning to Windsor, Ontario and continuing the partnership for the next two years," said Red Bull Air Race CEO Bernd Loidl, "It's a great venue in an exciting city and last year's race there was a huge success. The enthusiasm for the Red Bull Air Race in Windsor is just tremendous. It feels like all of Canada is behind the race."
The 2009 Windsor race also gave an important boost to the economy of Ontario, Canada's most populous province. Ontario's Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan emphasized the economic activity generated by the race and highlighted that it gave the entire region a "psychological lift."
"Last year's event was not just an economic shot in the arm for Windsor. The excitement of the race was plainly seen not only by the people of Windsor but also the hundreds of thousands of viewers from around the world who tuned in to watch the race," said Duncan. "Our government is pleased to work with Red Bull Air Race and the City in order to bring the race back to Windsor."
"This is a great coup for our city. Windsor will be joining a select group of major international cities to host the Red Bull Air Race again in 2010," added Ontario's Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello. "We look forward to welcoming this unique event and the economic boost it will provide to our region."
Canadian pilot Pete McLeod said he is delighted the race will be back in his home country. "Of all the locations on the 2010 calendar, I'm most excited to be back racing in Windsor," he said. "The support I had from my fans, sponsors and the entire city last year was outstanding and resulted in my best finish of the season. We've been working hard in the off-season to be more competitive and I hope I can represent Canada strongly again on home soil this summer."
Defending champion Paul Bonhomme of Britain began his comeback in Windsor in 2009, scoring the first of three victories on the challenging track over the Detroit River in front of over 200,000 cheering fans in the high-speed, low-altitude race through 20-metre high Air Gates.
"Windsor 2009 will go down in my memory bank as a favourite," said Bonhomme, adding he had never been made to feel more welcome anywhere in the world. "There were warm and hospitable people, a challenging track to test man and machine, and a charming village feel to a great city. If we have half as much fun as we had in 2009, then this year's race will be superb."
Information about tickets for the Red Bull Air Race in Windsor can be found at: www.redbullairrace.com.
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