IMS - Red Bull Air Races at Indy

©RIS/Larry Clarino

Red Bull Air Race World Championship on the Line This Weekend at IMS

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 - With only one race left, four pilots from three continents remain locked in the fight for the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Who will triumph to kiss the famous bricks in Indianapolis and take home the World Championship trophy?

After seven global races spanning eight months, the wait is almost over: This Saturday and Sunday, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the Red Bull Air Race season finale for the first time. In a weekend packed with heart-stopping action, one name will join the legends who have made sporting history at the holy grail of motorsport. Will it be Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic, Yoshihide Muroya of Japan, Pete McLeod of Canada or America's own Kirby Chambliss?

Gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Practice and qualifying for both classes starts at 10:45 a.m. Saturday. The Challenger Cup race starts at noon Sunday, followed by the Master Class race at 1:05 p.m.

This will be the second consecutive season that the IMS crowd will witness the blistering run that wins the World Championship. But while in 2016 Germany's Matthias Dolderer was sewing up a big advantage in the penultimate race of the season, this year it's down to the wire. Holding the lead, Sonka has to be considered the favorite for the battle of nerve and skill - but only by a tight margin.

Muroya is a mere four points behind and may have momentum after winning the previous stop Sept. 16-17 at Lausitzring in Germany.

McLeod trails Sonka by just seven points, and all three of the leaders have the extra motivation of knowing that their maiden World Championship would mark a first for their country.

Meanwhile, at 11 points back, Chambliss would be a longshot if he wasn't a two-time titleholder and the most experienced pilot in the field. When the going gets tough, Chambliss gets going in a big way, and he'll have the crowd on his side.

With 10 other Master Class pilots looking to play the spoiler as they make one last push to boost their season ranking, there will be no holding back in Indianapolis. And the exciting up-and-comers of the Challenger Class will be vying for the Challenger Cup, with Germany, Sweden, Poland, the United States, France and Great Britain in the lineup.

The high-speed, low-altitude action of the Red Bull Air Race - with raceplanes flying over the IMS infield at 230 mph and pulling 10 Gs of force - is the latest thrilling chapter in the sporting history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship celebrated its landmark 75th race at the 2017 season opener in Abu Dhabi. 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, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 230 mph while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

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Volume 2017, Issue 10, Posted 5:07 PM, 10.13.2017