The Red Bull Air Race 2014 World Championship announced that it will add a third stop in Europe with a race in the enchanted Croatian town of Rovinj on April 12/13 and thus extend the motorsport series to a total of eight stops in seven countries on three continents. "It is a great honour and pleasure that the Red Bull Air Race is coming to Rovinj providing us with the opportunity to show the whole world how beautiful and unique our town is. Without a doubt, I am sure that the town of Rovinj in partnership with Adris Group will provide a perfect setup for the World Championship, and deliver a world-class experience for everyone attending this exciting motorsport event," said Giovanni Sponza, the mayor of Rovinj.
The announcement of the eighth stop in 2014 comes just four weeks before the kick-off of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi on February 28/March 1. Britain's Paul Bonhomme, who won the last two titles, will be looking to win a third consecutive championship against 11 of the world's top pilots from nine other nations in the high-speed, low-altitude sport. There will also be races this year in Malaysia, Poland, Great Britain, the United States and China.
Rovinj, a picturesque port town on the western coast of Istria with a rich natural and cultural heritage with beautiful landmarks, is one of the most attractive locations in Europe, a popular tourist resort with an old town on a peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a charming town of artists, fishermen with stone streets and pretty facades with a rich Mediterranean culture full of joie de vivre in its streets, galleries, taverns and restaurants. The race in Croatia will also pay tribute to rich tradition of aviation in the entire region, which includes Slovenia, Austria and Italy. "We're really excited to be going to Croatia for the first time in the history of the Red Bull Air Race," said Sergio Pla, head of aviation at Red Bull Air Race. "Croatia is full of fans and has, along with the entire Adriatic region, a long tradition in aviation, with many active sports pilots, high-tech aircraft and parts manufactures along with a lot of lovely small airport strips. They are blessed with the gorgeous Adriatic Sea."
The challenging race track in Rovinj will be set up along the north beach close to the old town and will provide the thousands of fans expected to watch a most spectacular backdrop for the second stop of the 2014 season. "The track is going to be tight with high G turns and the big challenge could be the Bura winds," said Pla, referring to the gusty winds from the north that can wreak havoc throughout the Adriatic east coast and entire region. "If the winds show up, the race conditions will become marginal," Pla added. It will be the first race staged on the Mediterranean Sea since the final race of the 2009 season in Barcelona.
After the traditional season opener in Abu Dhabi over the Arabian Gulf's sparkling blue waters and the second leg in Rovinj, the Red Bull Air Race 2014 World Championship moves to first-ever stops in Putrajaya, Malaysia on May 17/18, the Baltic Sea city of Gdynia, Poland on July 26/27, and the Ascot Racecourse in Great Britain on August 16/17. It then moves to the United States with two further debut locations, the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Fort Worth, on September 6/7 and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on October 11/12, before concluding in China on November 1/2.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world's best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial track made up of air-filled pylons 25 meters high.