Czech Pilots Headline Air Race Demo At Pardubice Airshow
Over 40,000 aviation fans attending the Pardubice Airshow were ecstatic on 1-2 June as reigning Red Bull Air Race World Champion Martin Sonka and fellow Czech star Petr Kopfstein flew the first-ever demo in their home skies.
Czech fans have travelled all over the globe to watch their Air Racing heroes Sonka and Kopfstein in action and avidly follow the live race broadcasts, so the Red Bull Air Race Demo at the prestigious Pardubice Airshow (Aviatická pouť) was a highly anticipated event. The pilots flew at high speed against the clock in a racetrack that was created especially for Pardubice, with five of the sport’s iconic Air Gates, including a chicane. The Race Director of the Red Bull Air Race, Jim DiMatteo, was on hand to oversee the demo, and provided a play-by-play commentary in Czech, explaining the rules and manoeuvres to the breathless fans.
“The demo in Pardubice was an amazing event! I've always said that the Czech fan base is one of the strongest in the world, and this demo at our country’s biggest aviation showcase only proved it!” said Kopfstein, who won the Challenger Cup in the second competition category of the Red Bull Air Race before moving up to the World Championship ranks, where he leads Team Spielberg. “I am so glad that they had a chance to experience a taste of our sport via the Demo Days."
The attendees at Pardubice Airport were not only treated to a total of four Red Bull Air Race demos across the two days of the airshow, but they could also take a “zipping challenge” to try to fix an Air Gate like the famous Airgators who rapidly repair pylons in real race conditions. Red Bull Team Sonka also had the World Championship trophy that they were awarded at the end of the 2018 season on proud display for everyone to see.
Sonka shared, “It’s very special for us to fly in this Red Bull Air Race track here in the Czech Republic in front of our home crowd and fans, and it’s a great opportunity to thank them by presenting our beautiful sport here in the Czech Republic. So I want to say ‘thank you very much’ to all of them for their support and for following us, and we hope to see them in the future.”