American pilot Michael Goulian flies his through a gate on race day. (Photo by Hamish Blair / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
American pilot Kirby Chambliss zips through a gate with the Emire State Building looming in the background. (Photo by Nick Laham / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
Over 75,000 fans standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty got to see British pilot Paul Bonhomme win the first ever Red Bull Air Race New York, concluding four days of thrilling aerial action never before seen in the Big Apple.
Bonhomme had set the pace among the first three racers to navigate the course in the final four round on Sunday, only to see the Austrian, Hannes Arch and his Abu Dhabi-branded plane, out-fly the pack through the first half of his final run. Seconds later, however, Arch would hit the top of a pylon and suffer a 6 second penalty, sealing up the win for Bonhomme. Fellow Brit Nigel Lamb in the Breitling plane would finish second, followed by American Kirby Chambliss and his Red Bull bird in third.
The victory was Bonhomme’s second of the season and secured him a five point edge on top of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship standings over defending champion Hannes Arch with three events remaining in the season. The next stop will take the racers to EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany, which will mark the first Red Bull Air Race to be held at a motorsports venue.
Red Bull estimates a total of 135,000 fans came out to watch the action over the four days of practice, qualifying and the race itself, which, with the exception of the annual US Open tennis tournament, would make it one of the largest New York sporting events in recent memory.
HD Video of the Final 4 round:
Photos of Race Day, Qualifying and Practice Runs:
Paul Bonhomme’s victorious final run over the Hudson River at Red Bull Air Race New York 2010. (Photo by Mark Thompson / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
Canadian Pete McLeod flies his Air Hogs bird down the Hudson. (Photo by Eric Dunetz)
Nigel Lamb, the British pilot who would finish third on Sunday, edges through a vertical gate. (Photo by Sebastian Marko / Red Bull Air Race)
Boston native Mike Goulian pilots his BR Petrobras-sponsored Edge 540 race plane through a gate on race day. Goulian would finish seventh for the event. (Photo by Hamish Blair / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
A pylon meets an unfortunate demise. (Photo by Eric Dunetz)
Mike Goulian climbs into the course’s reversing turn, where pilots routinely pulled 9-10g’s. (Photo by Eric Dunetz)
Matthias Dolderer’s plane rests in the pit at Linden after qualifying for the seventh spot in the main event. Gotta love the ‘I Love NY’ sticker. (Photo by Matt Molnar)
Pete McCleod buzzes past the south Brooklyn skyline during the first round of qualifying. (Photo by Matt Molnar)
Hundreds of passengers line the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to watch Nicolas Ivanoff’s orange plane in the first qualifying round. (Photo by Phil Derner)
Sergey Rakhmanin of Russia in action on the Hudson River on Qualifying Day. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
Aleajandro Maclean’s shiny #36 bird qualified ninth. (Photo by Matt Molnar)
Looking down pit road at Linden Airport (LDJ). (Photo by Phil Derner)
Peter Besenyei of Hungary follows his plane as it is pushed to the scales at Linden. This was the second race in which Besenyei competed with his brand new Corvus 540, the first aircraft ever built specifically for Red Bull Air Racing. (Photo by Mark Thompson / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
Hannes Arch’s pit hangar at Linden Airport. (Photo by Matt Molnar)
Matt Hall’s miraculous water-skipping racing plane. Hall participated in practice runs but was not allowed to compete. (Photo by Phil Derner)
Sergey Rakhmanin examines his engine after completing Qualifying Day. (Photo by Matt Molnar)
The top three finishers stand on the winner’s podium at Linden Airport: Winner Paul Bonhomme (center), with country-mate and 2nd place finisher Nigel Lamb (left) and American pilot Kirby Chambliss (right). (Photo by Mark Thompson / Getty Images for Red Bull Air Race)
Bonus: Red Bull Girls. (Photo by Phil Derner)
Double bonus: As part of German Playboy’s sponsorship deal with pilot Matthias Dolderer, actual German Playmates like this one accompany him to some races. Not a bad gig. (Photo by Phil Derner)
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