Red Bull Air Race set for Las Vegas Motor Speedway
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kirby Chambliss is hoping for some home-country advantage when he competes in the second of two U.S. stops on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship tour Saturday and Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Although Chambliss is having a rough season, he’s looking forward to racing over a speedway. The previous stop on the world tour was at Texas Motor Speedway.
The pylons that form the gates are set up on the infield and the outer perimeter of the track.
Chambliss said fans sitting in the upper reaches of the stands at a speedway get a different perspective of air racing when the planes are speeding around only 30 to 50 feet off the ground at 230 mph.
“The cool thing about a motor speedway is, whenever your normally see airplanes, you’re looking up to see them,” Chambliss said. “This way, you’re looking down. The racing is down below you. It’s super cool.”
Chambliss, who lives at an airpark halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, is looking forward to competing in his home time zone.
But he’s currently 11th in the standings among 12 pilots after a 10th-place finish at Texas.
“To say I’m frustrated is one of the understatements of the year,” he said. “We’re not enjoying 11th place.”
With only Las Vegas and Austria to go, this season’s competition is the closest in the history of the series. The top three pilots are separated by a single point in the championship standings. Britain’s Paul Bonhomme is in first place with 45 points, followed by Nigel Lamb of Britain and Hannes Arch of Austria with 44 points each.
The tour took a three-year hiatus to improve safety.