Mon, Aug 21, 2006
British pilots Steve
Jones and Paul Bonhomme put in breathtaking performances to take
first and second respectively in the 6th round of the Red Bull Air
Race World Series today in Budapest, Hungary. Jones, flying his new
Edge 540 for the first time, raced to the top spot after a stunning
display of speed and agility around the course just metres above
the River Danube. Fellow Brit Paul Bonhomme was a close runner up
in this his second outing in a new plane.
The results mark a dramatic improvement for the British flyers
in a competition that has been largely dominated by Americans Kirby
Chambliss and Mike Mangold and Hungarian star Peter Besenyei.
Jones was ecstatic about his win: "Fantastic!" he exclaimed, "I
couldn't have imagined it better. I had an excellent first run
which was the basis of my victory. It's an awesome feeling!"
Local favourite Besenyei suffered an agonising defeat after
disqualification in the first round for deviating from the course,
dashing the high hopes of his legions of fans and fellow
American Kirby Chambliss is still leading the championship but
the rankings scores are closing in and with such unexpected results
in Budapest and three races left in the Series, it proves that
anything can still happen.
Flying at speeds of over 400kph and tackling forces of 10G, the
pilots started the competition with the daunting challenge of
flying under the Chain Bridge and then raced through an obstacle
course just metres above the water before returning back to the
This is the 3rd time the Air Race has touched down in Budapest
and it was the highlight of the national holiday weekend, ending
with a magnificent firework display above the Danube.
Fresh from their victory today, the Brits will no doubt be
gunning for top spots on the podium at their home leg of the World
Series which comes to Longleat on 2nd September.
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