Challenging wind conditions and scorching temperatures faced the Red Bull Air Race competitors as they flew around the inflated pylon course at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The winds made it difficult for the pilots to keep their airplanes within the tight confinements of the course and several pilots demolished the air gates as their wingtips sliced into the thinly covered pylons.
In the end, British pilot Paul Bonhomme flew a clean, fast race and won — his fourth win out of seven completed races this year. Bonhomme is now eight points ahead of the runner up, Australian Matt Hall. That still puts Hall in a position to win the World Championship at the final race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in mid-October, but Bonhomme would have to make some serious mistakes.
Hitting an air gate does not generally disqualify a pilot but rather results in a time penalty. Penalties are also imposed for flying too high, too low or at a bank through the pylons. Pilots can be disqualified for such things as not staying in the course, flying too fast, exceeding the maximum g-load factor and flying dangerously.
The winner receives 12 points; second place, nine points; and third place, seven points. In order for Hall to pass Bonhomme in the last race, he would have to take first or second place while Bonhomme would have to receive zero points, which would mean he would have to be eliminated in the round of 14 or get disqualified.
Check out the highlights from the Fort Worth race here.
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