Behind the scenes with the photographers, Part 2: the special shots

Some of the most iconic aerial photographs ever taken of Red Bull Air Race pilots have been "extracurricular" shots, taken away from the race venues. And for these shoots, the rivals from the racetrack need to work in perfect harmony – with each other and with the photographer. "These shoots are different, because everyone is more relaxed. The pilots aren't thinking about racing," Mitter says.

The role of the tactician

"This job isn't only about data analysis to find the best line through a racetrack," says Anselmo Gamez, a flight instructor, commercial pilot and championship-winning aerobatic competitor who is tactician for Team Velarde"I work on recommending new techniques for flying and training, and am involved in developing the plane and its modifications.

Behind the scenes: judging the pilots

The judges can be found in Race Control, along with the Race Director and Head Judge. Each has their role to play. The Race Director will call the pilot into the track safely and handle communication, the head judge will watch the pilot fly through the track and the judges will watch the pilots' every move using the Judging Terminal.

It's not just the raceplanes that are filled with the latest technology, but the judging panel terminal is also a highly specialised piece of equipment. It was originally developed in 2014 and is constantly being improved.

It's a class act at Indy

The pilots were all smiles as they shared the class photo moment at the Yard of Bricks that harks back to the time when the entire oval was paved with 3.2 million red bricks. With the location officially granted Federal Aviation Authority airport status ahead of the race, capturing this special moment in history marks a big milestone for the ultimate motorsport series in the sky.

October 1st - 2nd

Carol Vorderman goes for a spin

Vorderman, famed for being a maths genius, is a pilot, but had never been given the chance to see what the Challenger Class pilots get up to in the cockpit.

Ben Murphy and Carol Vorderman have known each other for many years, but this was the first time they had flown together, so she was thrilled to be given the opportunity to fly through the iconic pylons.

August 13th - 14th

Building a race airport

Walter Prettenthaler of the Airport Operations team makes sure his crew can overcome any obstacle to get the Race Airport ready.

The team arrive at the airport long before any of the pilots, teams or raceplanes arrive and have to work long days to ensure that when they do arrive everything is ready for them.

Besenyei honoured by Red Bull Air Race

At the end of 2015, after 10 seasons of competition, Besenyei retired from the sport to spend more time with his family and to fly air shows. On Saturday in Budapest, his home race, the Hungarian legend was honoured at the Qualifying Day Press Conference.

Erich Wolf, the General Manager of the Red Bull Air Race presented Besenyei with a one-off custom made book full of highlights from his career along with signatures and well wishes from all his friends in the Red Bull Air Race.

July 16th - 17th

A vision of the future…

The G3X replaces the traditional gauges used in the raceplane and other aircraft. It gives the pilots the data they need on one screen so they can focus 100% on their racing. The G3X can also collect all the data necessary for the team analyst to help the pilot improve his race line.

Three teams have installed the G3X so far in their raceplanes. Team Goulian and Team Garmin arrived in Abu Dhabi with their new displays. And Hannes Arch had his put in place ready for the race in Spielberg.

Spielberg's hidden pylon challenge

Racetrack Ops will be on site earlier in the week to undertake the racetrack build – a mighty task that falls to the specialist team of Airgators. The Airgators are responsible for the pylon construction, repair, maintenance and disassembly, and along with the rest of the Racetrack Ops team, are typically at each race location for up to two weeks before and one week after each race.