RedBull Air Race – San Diego, 2009

Kim and I went to the RedBull Air Races in San Diego again this year. Last year was a great time, so we figured we might as well do it again. It’s a bit price of an event – cheaper than going to a Formula 1 race, but not by a whole lot. That said, the VIP tickets include fairly good food both days, and an open bar – so it’s not horribly overpriced.

We decided to drive over to avoid the hassles involved with flying these days – somewhat ironic. Stayed at the Omni, nicely located in the gaslamp, but not really anything special as far as hotels go.

One of the highlights was getting a tour of the pit area at the temporary runway, located south of San Diego about 20 miles. We got to see all the planes and meet a bunch of the pilots as well. It was a fairly well put together tour and a really nice way to start off the race weekend. Saturday was qualifying, which turned out to be pretty exciting. Plenty of pylon hits and other penalties assessed. Race day itself was almost dull by comparison – everyone putting in better times than qualifying, but no big surprises. The only surprise came on the last run where Hannes Arch received a 2 second penalty for flying too high, which knocked him out of 1st place, into 2nd. Turned out he’d hit a bird, and it’d taken a big hunk out of his horizontal stabilizer. Pretty amazing he managed to finish the race at all, much less right in medal contention.

Here’s a pic of Nigel Lamb’s gorgeous Breitling sponsored MXS-R.

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