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Organizers pull plug on Red Bull Air Race

Hungary will host the Red Bull Air Race for the last time this year, after organizers decided to bring an end to the competition after the 2019 season, state news agency MTI reported Wednesday. Zamárdi on Lake Balaton will host the last Hungarian race on July 13-14.

A competing plane passes Parliament in Budapest during an earlier edition of the event (photo: Pfeiffer / Shutterstock.com).

Established in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship was created by Red Bull GmbH as an international series of air races in which competitors navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time.

"Red Bull has decided not to continue the Red Bull Air Race World Championship beyond the 2019 season," the organizers said on their website. "The Red Bull Air Race provided sports entertainment of highest quality, but did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events across the world," they added.

Budapest has hosted a round of the Red Bull Air Race almost every year it has been held since 2003. However, the cityʼs mayor refused a permit for the race in the capital this year, telling race organizers to scout an alternative venue for this yearʼs contest after complaints about noise and restricted access to public areas surged in 2018.

A number of municipalities around Lake Balaton vied to host the race, and a decision was taken to make Zamárdi, on the southern shore of the lake, the new venue for what will be the last race in Hungary.

Zamárdi will host the race on July 13-14, one week after the Balaton Sound electronic music festival, which draws tens of thousands of young people to the same beachside venue.

Following the first race of the season held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on February 8–9, the other remaining races scheduled for this season are in Kazan, Russia, on June 15-16, then Hungary, before the shortened final series wraps up in Chiba, Japan, on September 7-8.