Pilots Paul Bonhomme and Nigel Lamb of Great Britain and Matthias Dolderer of Germany took in an iconic English landmark on Thursday during a recon flight preparation for the fifth stop of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, to be held this Saturday and Sunday at Ascot Racecourse in England.
The white cliffs of Dover have been Britain's first line of defense over centuries of attempted invasions, and witnessed dogfights between British and German aircraft during the Battle of Britain in 1940. While Bonhomme, Dolderer and Lamb flew in a friendly formation, the significance can't be lost of the British pilots:
Bonhomme has been in a battle for the World Championship lead with Austria's Hannes Arch since the season opener, but finished off the podium in the last two races. Lamb, meanwhile, has surged, earning his first ever win as well as a second-place finish at those same two events. Arch now holds a significant lead at 42 points, with Bonhomme in second (29 pts.) and Lamb close behind in third (26 pts.). The Brits are determined to go for glory and narrow that gap this weekend in front of the tens of thousands of fans who will attend their home contest at the legendary Ascot venue.
Later in the day, Matt Hall of Australia, Kirby Chambliss of the United States and Nicolas Ivanoff of France made their own recon flight over another dramatic landmark, majestic Leeds Castle and its vast moat, which have witnessed over 900 years of British history.
Next up: all twelve Red Bull Air Race contenders will begin the high-speed, low-altitude action in the first official training sessions over Ascot Racecourse on Friday afternoon, ahead of Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday's crucial race.