Gusting winds of up to 37kts on Saturday morning at the Las Vegas Motor Speeway have caused the official Red Bull Air Race Committee to take the decision to deflate the racetrack in between flying sessions.
The Challenger Cup Free Practice 3 session was flown as planned earlier and the Master Class Free Practice 3 session is scheduled to start at 1350 local time. While we wait for the start of the next session, the air-filled pylons have been deflated to ensure they do not become damaged in the winds. They are able to safely withstand up to 30kts of wind.
Stretching 25 metres high, the pylons are made of an extremely lightweight material that's rigidly inflated at high pressure to burst harmlessly if grazed. "A safe track with stable Air Gates is the precondition for a race, and the pylons are designed to secure safe racing up to 30 knots," explained a representative from the Race Track Operations team. "A soft pylon would be very dangerous to hit – like a wet blanket around the airplane."
Qualifying at the final round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway takes place this afternoon with the Challenger Class session at 1520, followed by the Master Class session at 1600.