60,000 Spectators Sweat Out Switzerland Event
We're halfway through the Red Bull Air Race World Season season
for 2007, and Britain’s Paul Bonhomme retains his position as
leader of the series after winning the fifth race of the season in
Interlaken, Switzerland, with a time of 1:11.08, beating American
Bonhomme completed a "superb" run at speeds of up to 250 mph and
forces of up to 10G, racing through the air gates in the low level
course stretched out in front of the trio of famous Swiss peaks --
the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Interlaken marks Bonhomme’s second victory of the season.
He now leads the series with a total of 26 points, followed by
Mangold, the 2005 champion, with 24 points.
"I didn't feel the last run was quite as good as my previous
one, but hey, it did the trick. The wind was getting stronger
during the day, very subtly. I'm very happy. The airplane's in
tip-top shape," said Bonhomme (shown below).
In the consolation final, Hungary’s Peter Besenyei (Red
Bull) beat Britain’s Steve Jones (Matador). 60,000 spectators
watched the race held under the scorching mid-summer temperatures;
while that's a notable figure, the Swissinfo news service notes
event organizers had hoped for some 140,000 spectators.
"Since it's the first time a race has been held in Switzerland,
we couldn't base our estimates on anything," said Red Bull
spokeswoman Nathalie Lüthi.
The stop in Interlaken, the fifth leg of the 10-race Red Bull
Air Race World Series, was the second of the season in Europe.
Previous races were held in Abu Dhabi, Rio de Janeiro, Monument
Valley, CA and Istanbul.
The victory widened Bonhomme's lead over Mangold ahead of the
British pilot's home race in London on July 29.