The pilots of the Red Bull Air Race have been waiting all season for their first glimpses of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and on Thursday they got their chance, with spectacular views from their raceplanes.
North Americans Kirby Chambliss (Arizona, USA), Michael Goulian (Massachusetts, USA) and Pete McLeod (Ontario, Canada), as well as François Le Vot of France savoured the chance to fly their Master Class raceplanes in formation over the 2.5-mile oval.
Since first taking off in 2003, the ultimate motorsport series in the sky has stopped at dozens of iconic locations 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.
But on Friday, once Free Practice begins ahead of Saturday's Qualifying and Race Day on Sunday, 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.
Tickets are still available for the Red Bull Air Race debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 1-2, as well as for the season final in glamorous Las Vegas, USA on October 15-16, 2016. Tickets are available here.