The Kazan racetrack has a new design for 2018. This new track is less technical and faster than the 2017 incarnation and our analyst on the inside says this layout will "lead to close timings and an exciting race."
In 2017 there were 67 pylon hits over race week, one of the highest in the sport's history, but this year the track has changed completely. We sat down with our race analyst to see where he thinks this race could be won or lost.
The track has 15 gates and covers around 4km. The start speed is 200kts for the Master Class pilots and 180kts for the Challengers. "The track has become less technical, but much faster," said our analyst. "One of the important sections of the track is the sequence between gates 3, 4 and 5. There is a high chance that the pilots could bleed a lot of speed here. The aim for them is to find a good balance between a short distance and good speed management," he explained.
Unusually for a Red Bull Air Race track, the VTM (Vertical Turning Manoeuvre) is only flown once, but according to the analyst, it's very important. "After leaving the chicane (Gate 6c), the pilots will accelerate towards the VTM as there is only a slight turn at Gate 7. From Gate 6c to the VTM is about 600m, which will result in a high speed entry into the VTM. This means there is a high risk of an over-G or exceeding the G-limit penalty," explained the analyst.
In conclusion, our analyst went on to explain that the second lap is very similar to the first, except for the lack of the VTM. He also concluded by saying: "There are not too many racing lines the pilots can fly in this track, so it will be a close race!"
To see how the pilots cope with the 2018 track, you can follow all the action HERE.