Inside the Indianapolis Track

The Red Bull Air Race analyst gives his expert opinion on the final race of the season

Podlunsek in the indy track

It's all come down to this. The final race of the 2017 season is here and the pilots will be analysing the track to try and see where they can gain an advantage over their rivals.

We spoke to the Red Bull Air Race's track analyst to see where he thinks the race could be won or lost.

There are several changes to the 2016 track – there is an additional single gate at Gate 7 and the Finish Gate has been moved to the beginning of the VTM. The track has a total of 19 gates flown over 2.5 laps – this also means the Start Gate and Finish Gate are different.

"This track is special in many ways," said our analyst. "There will be a static start and although the timing starts at Gate 1, the takeoff is very important as the pilots want to hit the first gate at the optimum speed. This means they will get the engine up to full RPM and then release the brakes for a super quick takeoff."


The changes make the 2017 track a technical and challenging one. The new single gate is higher, so the pilots will go high for the vertical turn, low for the chicane and then high again for Gate 7. "There a lot of chances for mistakes," explained the analyst. "Gates 5 to 7 are particularly tricky. Gate 5 is the Vertical Turning Manoeuvre and the pilots have to fly to vertical before they turn to Gate 6. Usually the following Gate flows from the VTM, but here in Indianapolis it's a 90-degree turn. So the pilot will be upside down when he turns to the next gate – which can be extremely difficult," he added.

Due to the tightness of the track, the safety line will be close, so it's another component the pilots will have to contend with. "There are three safety lines, and all of them are close to the optimum racing line. The pilots will have to use all their skills to fly through this track without a penalty. The track here in Indianapolis is perfect for a fantastic season finale," concluded our analyst.

The season finale takes place on 14-15 October – tickets are still available, get yours HERE!