For a heart-pounding, on-the-edge-of-your seat adrenalin rush, the Red Bull Air Race Championship series was hard to beat. Outside the aviation community, however, the races failed to attract the same level of interest as other Red Bull events. For this reason, Red Bull announced on Wednesday that its Air Race World Championship that began in 2003 will not continue after 2019.
The Red Bull Air Race series included 90 races at locations throughout the world, with race pilots competing in timed events that required them to fly precise lines through a pylon course that was as challenging as it looked in person and on TV.
The series hosted races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016, 2017 and 2018, but the event scheduled for this October has been canceled, IMS officials say.
“We were informed this morning by management of the Red Bull Air Race organization that the 2019 championship will be suspended after September and that this year’s round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, scheduled for Oct. 19-20, is canceled,” the IMS said in a statement yesterday.
The Speedway said that customers who already purchased tickets to this year’s event will receive refunds.
“We are disappointed that we will not host another Red Bull Air Race event, and I know many of our fans will be disappointed as well,” said IMS president Douglas Boles in a statement. “We enjoyed watching the pilots navigate the unique course over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds, and we were especially excited to see American pilot Michael Goulian celebrate a well-earned victory last year.”
Goulian said on his website he is thankful and humbled by his experience with the series: “Racing around the globe in amazing locations while meeting so many spectacular fans and making lifelong friends will certainly be one of the highlights of my aviation career.”
Red Bull said the Championship’s final races will be held in Kazan, Russia (June 15-16); Lake Balaton, Hungary (July 13-14); and Chiba, Japan (September 7-8).