2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship Ready for Take Off

World's Fastest Motorsport Announces Pilots, Locations and New Race Format for 2009

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA--(Marketwire - February 3, 2009) - Fifteen of the world's top race pilots, including four rookies from four corners of the globe, will compete in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2009, which will touch down in six spectacular locations beginning with the traditional season opener in Abu Dhabi on April 17 and 18.

The world's most exciting motorsport will then move to North America for races in San Diego, USA and Windsor in Ontario, Canada, before returning back across the Atlantic to Europe for stops in Budapest, Porto and Barcelona, marking a much-anticipated return to the enchanting Spanish city on the Mediterranean.

"This season will be the most exciting yet," said Bernd Loidl, CEO of Red Bull Air Race. "We're also delighted to have our first Canadian race in the province of Ontario and to welcome four new pilots on board."

Flying at speeds reaching 230 mph and pulling up to 12 gs, the pilots will navigate unique and demanding race tracks, negotiating their way through 65-foot-high inflatable air gates in their bid to become the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Champion. Austrian Hannes Arch, who became the first European to win the championship last year, will be seeking to defend his title against a talented crop of pilots who have all been busy honing their skills in the off-season and working on modifications to their planes.

They will all be up against four new pilots from four continents who join the elite field this year. At age 25, Canada's Pete McLeod will be the youngest ever pilot in the high-speed, precision flying race and he will be joined by three other rookies -- Japan's Yoshihide Muroya, Australia's Matt Hall and Germany's Matthias Dolderer.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will revamp its race format in the 2009 season as part of its quest to perfect scoring and also to accommodate the largest expansion ever in the field to 15 pilots from 12 in 2008. The new format features a Qualifying Day with all pilots racing to be one of the ten fastest to take them directly through to the Top 12 session on Race Day.

For the first time ever, Qualifying will also be a race for one championship point which will be awarded to the pilot with the best time in Qualifying. A Wild Card session will open Race Day with the five slowest from Qualifying getting a second chance by battling it out for the final two spots in the Top 12. Another important change is with the scoring. The penalty time assessed for incorrect flying through an air gate has been cut to 2 seconds from 3 seconds previously. The penalty for touching an air gate has been lowered to 6 seconds from 10. The changes reflect the increasingly competitive field, where gaps between first and last place have narrowed considerably in the last five years.

With a speed-maximizing race format, ambitious new talent to shake up the hierarchy and the top veteran pilots from 2008 returning to battle it out for dominance, 2009 promises to be another year of thrills, upsets and nail-biting tension.

For further information, photos, video clip as well as pilot biographies and details about the new race format please register at the Red Bull Air Race Newsroom which can be accessed via the 'Press' link on www.redbullairrace.com or directly at www.redbullairracenewsroom.com.

2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship - RACE CALENDAR

Abu Dhabi (UAE)                 April 17 & 18
San Diego (USA)                 May 9 & 10
Windsor, Ontario (Canada)       June 13 & 14
Budapest (Hungary)              August 19 & 20
Porto (Portugal)                September 12 & 13
Barcelona (Spain)               October 3 & 4

* subject to change

2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship - PILOTS

Hannes Arch (AUT)                (2008 World Champion)
Paul Bonhomme (GBR)              (2nd in 2008)
Kirby Chambliss (USA)            (3rd in 2008)
Mike Mangold (USA)
Peter Besenyei (HUN)
Nigel Lamb (GBR)
Alejandro Maclean (ESP)
Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
Michael Goulian (USA)
Sergey Rakhmanin (RUS)
Glen Dell (RSA)
Matthias Dolderer (GER)
Matt Hall (AUS)
Pete McLeod (CAN)
Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)

Contact Information: Press Information: Maddy Stephens Red Bull Communications 210.414.1904

Fifteen of the world's best pilots are posed to compete in six races worldwide in the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship In the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship 15 pilots will compete around the globe with a new race format that guarantees speed-maximizing excitement.