INDIANAPOLIS (USA) – September 29, 2016 was a day to remember for the pilots of the Red Bull Air Race as they got their first opportunity to capture images of the USA’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the mythic motorsport track where they will be racing this weekend for the very first time.
North Americans Kirby Chambliss (Arizona, USA), Michael Goulian (Massachusetts, USA) and Pete McLeod (Ontario, Canada), as well as François Le Vot of France reveled in the chance to fly their Master Class raceplanes in formation over the 2.5-mile oval. And all the pilots from both the Master Class and the Challenger Class gathered at the racetrack’s hallowed Yard of Bricks for a “class photo” that they’ll cherish.
Since first taking off in 2003, the ultimate motorsport series in the sky has stopped at dozens of iconic locales worldwide, but never before at “The Brickyard” that pioneered the speedway concept, and every pilot has been looking forward to flying in Indy as a “bucket list” racing destination. The track is famed not only in auto racing circles, but among aviation enthusiasts as well: The event that first opened the speedway in 1909 was a gas balloon race, and in 1910 none other than America’s original aviation heroes, the Wright Brothers, headlined a multi-day flying demonstration at the venue. (The Indianapolis 500 made its premiere in 1911.)
On Friday, once Free Practice begins ahead of Saturday’s Qualifying and Race Day on Sunday, the camaraderie will turn to fierce competition, particularly in the Master Class. With only two races to go, Germany’s Matthias Dolderer is inching ever closer to clinching the World Championship, while Australia’s Matt Hall is on a full-throttle charge to overtake him, and America’s own Chambliss is on the verge of claiming an overall podium position of his own.