Pilot Ben Murphy and the Blades Racing Team kick off 2019 World Championship this weekend
Just one year ago, British pilot Ben Murphy and the Blades Racing Team were making their debut in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship with an astonishing sixth-place performance at the 2018 opener in Abu Dhabi. The effort jumpstarted what turned out to be the best rookie season ever delivered by a graduate of the sport’s exclusive feeder class. On 8-9 February, Murphy will race over Abu Dhabi’s Corniche once again, launching a brand-new season that holds strong promise for his
first race podium.
With experience as a former Team Leader of the Red Arrows, and an exceptionally dynamic team behind him, anticipation for Murphy’s premiere season had been high among Britain’s aviation and motorsport fans last year. But the Blades’ accomplishments exceeded all expectations: no Race Day pylon hits, advancements to the Round of 8 in over 60 percent of their races, an impressive 29 World Championship points and a final placement in the top half of the field at seventh overall. Perhaps most indicative of their rapid progress were two consecutive advancements to the Final 4 to close the calendar, with Murphy finishing just a tenth of a second off the podium at the November season finale.
Acknowledging that missing the race podium by such a small margin has made him “even hungrier,” Murphy will be looking to accelerate his 2018 momentum with a strong result in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Saturday. All season long he will be joined by the same outstanding team members: Team Principal Andy Offer, Team Manager Rebecca Allen, Tactician Neil Furness, Technician Andreas Kaufmann and Team Coordinator Annie Stone. In addition, the Blades Racing Team remains in partnership with their longstanding and highly supportive sponsors, Aerobytes, Zyrad Cables and the RAF Benevolent Fund. With a full year of collaboration and experience under their belt, they have become a tight unit, determined to build on their initial successes for continued progression. Throughout the eight-race 2019 season, the Blades Racing Team will be working to refine their processes and squeeze even more performance out of their raceplane. They will also be covering the globe with more ease and efficiency than ever, thanks to a new partnership with OGIO.
“We’re continuously reviewing every detail of how we operate this year, even more so now that we have teamed up with OGIO to supply the team’s luggage to improve how we travel and get kit to and from locations,” Murphy says. “It’s just another example of how, on every level, our goal this season is to get better.”
See Britain’s only Red Bull Air Race team soar into the 2019 season. For ticket information and all the latest news on the World Championship, visit www.redbullairrace.com.
Red Bull Air Race 2019 Calendar
8-9 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
15-16 June: Kazan, Russia
13-14 July: Budapest, Hungary
7-8 September: Chiba, Japan
19-20 October: Indianapolis, USA
8-9 November: Saudi Arabia
About Red Bull Air Race
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an aerial motorsport series that demands a combination of speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, high performance race planes, pilots compete in iconic locations over water and land. The high speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability required make it accessible only to the world’s most exceptional pilots. Flying just metres from the ground, 14 Master Class pilots race against the clock whilst reaching speeds of up to 370 km/h, requiring a combination of precision and skill unmatched in the world of aviation. Pilots must be in peak physical condition as they endure forces up to 12G while navigating the technical racetracks made up of air-filled pylons.
The Air Race was developed in 2003 and is accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), with more than 90 races completed across five continents. As the most advanced aerial challenge in existence, competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is the highest accolade for elite pilots.
A Challenger Cup feeder series was introduced in 2014 with the goal of facilitating the development of the unique skills required for the Master Class for the next generation of pilots.
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