As the official global time keeping partner for the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Breitling is set to once again separate the best from the rest down to 1/100ths of a second in the world's fastest motorsport series. Renowned for its precision aviation watches and chronometers used by aviators worldwide, Breitling will provide timekeeping services in 2014 at all eight Red Bull Air Race stops.
Breitling, with its experience in precision timekeeping, is a fitting global partner for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. With margins so close in the racing, timekeeping for the Red Bull Air Race is one of the most essential parts of the sport. In fact, there have been many unforgettable Red Bull Air Race battles between pilots that were decided by as little as 1/100th of a second.
One such race occurred in New York in 2010, when Kirby Chambliss and Nigel Lamb went head to head in a ferocious battle in the final round, racing at breathtaking speeds for almost two minutes through the obstacle course in the sky between Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. In the end, it was only 3/100ths of a second that separated first and second place. The tiniest of margins can mean the difference between victory or heartbreak, and so precision is always key.
Because the gaps in timing can be so miniscule, the timings at the Red Bull Air Race this year will be tracked to 1/1,000th of a second. Equipment that can measure a gap as tiny as 1/10,000ths of a second will also be available, and a team of five dedicated timekeepers will be assigned to each race.
"Time will be measured in the thousands of a second," said Sergio Pla, Head of Aviation at Red Bull Air Race. "We also have a photo-finish system, which has a resolution of 1/10,000th of a second. That system will be used if two pilots have the exact same time at the 1/1,000th of a second."
It's not just a case of stop and go; there are also other three-dimensional elements to the Red Bull Air Race timekeeping. The timing system measures the centrifugal force, the speed of the aircraft and the pulse of the pilots.
The clock starts and stops when the nose of the plane triggers the system as it flies through the start and finishing gates, bolstered by backup system that includes a line scan camera and transponder to track the timings.
Breitling return as the Red Bull Air Race official timekeepers for the forthcoming season opener in Abu Dhabi.