UPDATED RACE CALENDAR: Austria is back on the map!

Race six of the 2018 season will take place in Wiener Neustadt

Fifteen years after the Red Bull Air Race took off for the very first time at an airfield in Austria, the sport will return to its motherland with a race at picturesque Wiener Neustadt on 15-16 September 2018. The sixth of eight season stops, the race set against a backdrop of the Alps will be dramatic as 14 of the world's best pilots make their late-season bids for the official World Championship.

Austria holds a special place in the history the Red Bull Air Race. The sport was born in the Austrian city of Zeltweg on 28 June 2003, when a handful of daring, talented pilots took on the challenge of flying at high speed and low altitude through a racetrack of inflated pylons. Since then, everything about the sport – from the Air Gates to the raceplanes to the skills of the race teams – has evolved to the highest echelon.

Besides Zeltweg, which twice hosted the sport, rounds of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship have been held three times in Spielberg, Austria; but the upcoming debut in Wiener Neustadt holds significance not only because the city is near the nation's capital of Vienna, but because it is the cradle of European aviation history. The location where the race will be held was founded in 1909 and is both the oldest and largest natural airfield in Europe.

"We are delighted to be adding Austria to the calendar of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. After the absence of a race in Austria in 2017, it's great news that the raceplanes will touch down at the new location of Lower Austria and the city of Wiener Neustadt," says Erich Wolf, General Manager of Red Bull Air Race GmbH. "History will be made as the Master Class pilots race for victory at the sixth stop of the season, and we will additionally see a double header in the Challenger Cup, as two races will take place for the development class of the Red Bull Air Race during this exciting weekend in September."

Current favourites to be battling for the top of the World Championship leaderboard in Wiener Neustadt include defending World Champion Yoshihide Muroya, 2016 overall winner Matthias Dolderer, Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian, two-time runner-up Matt Hall and last year's second-place finisher overall, Czech pilot Martin Sonka.

"It's fantastic to have a race so close to my home in the Czech Republic. We often see our Czech fans traveling to different races to support us, so I am sure that, due to the close proximity, we will see an excellent turnout at the race in Wiener Neustadt," Sonka announced "We will be fighting hard to take victory there, and we will be in a strong position by stop six of the World Championship."

Tickets for the Austrian race are now available; get yours HERE!

Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar

2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE

20-22 April: Cannes, France 

26-27 May: Chiba, Japan

23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary

25-26 August: Kazan, Russia

15-16 September: Wiener Neustadt, Austria

6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA

November: TBA