Hannes Arch wins Budapest’s Red Bull Air Race


móni lázár

Austrian Hannes Arch finished first at this year’s Budapest Red Bull Air Race yesterday, in a tight race, beating Britainʼs Paul Bonhomme, the current leader of the championship, followed by Czech Martin Sonka and Canadian Pete McLeod. 

Hannes Arch is flying over the Danube in front of the Parliament. (Photo: Moni Lazar)

The final four racers battled closely for the podium finishes, flying over the river Danube, on the track set between the Chainbridge and Margithíd, in front of the imposing building of Parliament.

The race returned to Hungary after five years of hiatus, giving the series an extra spin, by making the pilots fly under the Chainbridge before the timing begins, accomplishing a narrow gap of maximum 10 meters between the water level and the bridge.

Hannes said after the race that, though he did not really expect to win, he was hoping, as his first Red Bull Air Race victory ever was bagged in Budapest in 2008.

Hungarian Péter Besenyei, who is often called the “godfather” of the event series for his work with Red Bull in setting down the rules and creating the series, finished sixth, flying his new plane Edge 540 v3, abandoning his Hungarian developed Corvus Air Racer. "Basically it was a good race for me with my new aeroplane," Besenyei said after the race. He noted that he needs to get used to the new plane as he has been able to fly it for approximately two hours so far.

Besenyei abandoned his Corvus plane a few months ago, saying that, though it is an excellent plane for acrobatic flights, it is not suitable for the sharp turns of the race.


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