With the Red Bull Air Race about to return to the skies in February, an eighth race has been added to the 2014 calendar as the series makes a first-ever stop in the Croatian town of Rovinj on the Adriatic Sea near Slovenia, Austria and Italy, on April 12-13.
The announcement of the eighth stop in 2014 comes just four weeks before the kick-off of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 28-March 1.
Britain’s Paul Bonhomme, who won the last two titles, will be looking to win a third consecutive championship against 11 of the world’s top pilots from nine other nations in the high-speed, low-altitude sport. There will also be races this year in Malaysia, Poland, Great Britain, the United States and China.
Rovinj, a port town on the western coast of Istria, is a popular tourist resort with an old town on a peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea.
“We’re really excited to be going to Croatia for the first time in the history of the Red Bull Air Race,” said Sergio Pla, head of aviation at Red Bull Air Race. “Croatia is full of fans and has, along with the entire Adriatic region, a long tradition in aviation, with many active sports pilots, high-tech aircraft and parts manufactures along with a lot of lovely small airport strips. They are blessed with the gorgeous Adriatic Sea.”
The challenging race track in Rovinj will be set up along the north beach close to the old town and will provide the thousands of fans expected to watch a spectacular backdrop for the second stop of the 2014 season.
“The track is going to be tight with high G turns and the big challenge could be the Bura winds,” said Pla, referring to the gusty winds from the north that can wreak havoc throughout the Adriatic east coast and entire region. “If the winds show up, the race conditions will become marginal.”
It will be the first race staged on the Mediterranean Sea since the final race of the 2009 season in Barcelona.
After the traditional season opener in Abu Dhabi and the second leg in Rovinj, the Red Bull Air Race 2014 World Championship moves to first-ever stops in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17-18, the Baltic Sea city of Gdynia, Poland on July 26-27, and the Ascot Racecourse in Great Britain on Aug. 16-17. It then moves to the United States with two further debut locations, the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Fort Worth, on Sept. 6-7 and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on Oct. 11-12, before concluding in China on Nov. 1-2.