One thing to get the heart of a Red Bull Air Race pilot racing is an exciting new racetrack in a new location – and that's exactly what we have here in Wiener Neustadt.
There is a buzz around the Race Airport as 14 of the world's best racing pilots are keen to get back in the track and start competing again. As soon as they finished in Kazan they would have started analysing the Wiener Neustadt track. We spoke to our resident expert about his thoughts on the Austrian course.
The Wiener Neustadt track consists of 13 gates over two laps, measuring 4.3km. For the first time this season we have a standing start, meaning the entry speed into the Start Gate will be well below the normal 200kts.
"The first key element to this track is the static start," said our analyst. "They enter the racetrack just after their takeoff run. Here in Wiener Neustadt the start speed will be around 140kts, this means the average G-force for this track will be 2.8G (Cannes was 3.79G)."
This lower speed will frustrate the pilots. "They will feel like they're a 'lame duck'. The pilots will need to make bigger steering inputs on the stick and rudder," he said. "You can compare it with dancing, but with an extra 20kg of body weight, which makes every movement slower, a little more unbalanced and requires more energy. And you probably won't feel as comfortable," explained our analyst.
There is a second critical element to setting a good time in the track, and as usual it's the VTM, which for Wiener Neustadt will be limited by two safety lines. "The pilots will try to make a 'setup turn' before Gate 5 (Gate 11 on lap two), they will then want to make a slight left turn in the VTM which will give them a good racing line from Gate 6 to 7. This will give them a good time," our analyst concluded.
The Master Class pilots will first test the track in Free Practice 1, starting today at 11:45 local time. Follow the action HERE.