Red Bull to buzz over the Danube again
With a tie at the top of the standings, anticipation in the Red Bull Air Race’s traditional venue of Budapest appears to be peaking ahead of the arrival of the acrobatic planes in Hungary on July 1-2, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Organizers expect the first race in Europe, the fourth stop of the season of international air races, to be a critical home-turf showdown for Czech ace Martin Šonka, who is locked in a points battle for the World Championship lead with Japanese star Yoshihide Muroya.
Budapest’s spectacular venue in front of the formidable Parliament building, with planes whizzing under the landmark Chain Bridge just above the water of the river Danube, has been part of the race schedule since 2004, except for a few yearsʼ hiatus.
This year, the pilots face a new strategic challenge, with two race course layouts to study instead of one, designed to accommodate a possible variation in the Danube’s water level, which is a decisive factor in whether planes can fly under the bridge.
Šonka won the season opener in Abu Dhabi, which was followed by Muroya’s two consecutive victories, including a recent home triumph in Japan. Each pilot holds exactly 30 points, with the consistent defending World Champion Matthias Dolderer of Germany just seven points back.
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