Dallas-Fort Worth saw a lot of action this past weekend, with the opening of the State Fair and the Cowboys playing at home. But the most thrilling of it had to be the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Texas Motor Speedway, when 14 pilots from across the world competed on a 1.5-mile aerial obstacle course in front of more than 30,000 people.
Now in its eighth season, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is part of an adrenaline-rushing global sports series that takes place in eight stunning locations, across seven countries and three continents. The series also includes the Cliff Diving World Series (which returned to Possum Kingdom Lake this past May), X-Fighters World Tour, and the Crashed Ice World Championship.
The pilots were timed throughout a series of runs, as they made their way through the air-filled pylons. The Texas Twister was the toughest, because the pilots had to maneuver their way through the pylon not only by adjusting their speed and flying level, but also by determining exactly where to push the plane through.
After watching these guys hit speeds upward of 230 mph and forces up to 10 G’s throughout the tricky obstacle course, something tells me parallel parking is a breeze for them.
With a time of 55.285 seconds, British ace Paul Bonhomme took home his fourth first-place finish this season; his previous wins include Abu Dhabi, Chiba, and Ascot. Having finished third in the 2014 season, Bonhomme has 39 podiums and 15 race wins throughout his career, including two world titles. Bonhomme now extends his world championship lead by eight points as they head to the final stop of the season in Las Vegas on October 17-18.
Australia’s Matt Hall (who remains second in points behind Bonhomme) put in a solid performance, coming in second with a time of 56.052 seconds. Japan’s Yoshi Muroya finished third. Think about it: Only 0.767 seconds separated first and second place in the final round. Great Britain’s Nigel Lamb set a new track record — clocking in at 54.620 seconds — but only finished sixth.
The hometown favorite was Red Bull pilot and Texas native Kirby Chambliss, who came in 11th, while the other American in the race, Michael Goulian, finished ninth.
Another noteworthy moment from the action-packed weekend included the Red Bull Air Force team leaping from a helicopter at 5,000 feet and free-falling toward the crowd carrying the American flag during the National Anthem. The Red Bull Air Force team comprises the most accomplished and experienced skydivers, B.A.S.E. jumpers, and paragliders on the planet.
Even before the start of the big race at Texas Motor Speedway, a video of Lolo Jones riding with Kirby Chambliss got a bunch of buzz. She may be the fastest woman in the world, but she’s never gone as fast as 200+ mph, upward of 10 G’s.
Fans can relive the action from the Red Bull Air Race Texas on October 11 on Fox Sports 1.