2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship Takes Off

The season’s first race concludes with upsets on the podium.

Red Bull Air Race
The first Red Bull Air Race World Championship race of the season was hosted in Abu Dhabi last weekend.Red Bull

Red Bull kicked off its first Red Bull Air Race World Championship race for the season last weekend in Abu Dhabi with surprising results. Last year’s World Championship runner-up, Australian Matt Hall, who was ranked No. 1 because the winner, Paul Bonhomme, retired after the 2015 season, had a disappointing finish after hitting a pylon and walked away with only two points. Hannes Arch, who finished third overall in 2015, also had a difficult day and was disqualified after passing the safety line.

Instead, the winner was Nicolas Ivanoff, from France, followed closely by German Matthias Dolderer, who lost by a mere 10th of a second. Another Frenchman, François Le Vot, finished in third place.

American competitors Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian also put in strong performances, finishing fourth and fifth.

The race series now moves to Spielberg, Austria, in April, followed by Chiba, Japan; Budapest, Hungary; Ascot, U.K.; Lausitzring, Germany; Indianapolis; and a final race in Las Vegas this fall.