Red Bull Air Race: Šonka is successor to Besenyei in the Red Bull Team!

Red Bull Air Race 2016 kicks off March 11th and 12th in Abu Dhabi

Czech pilot Martin Šonka changes colours at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Thanks to his performances he will fly in the new season in prestigious colours of the principal team partner, Red Bull. Šonka thus becomes a successor to legendary Hungarian Peter Besenyei, one of the founders of this series of air races.

Prague (CZE) – When he came to the Red Bull Air Race series in 2010, he dreamed secretly that he could perhaps fly in these colours one day. “It is well known fact that only top world athletes and teams are selected for partnerships. It is a great honour for me and our team. As for motorsport, just imagine a Czech racer in Red Bull colours doing Formula 1, Dakar or the WRC… Although I have been air racing in Red Bull colours for a long time, but an air race is something unbelievable. It’s really a dream come true,” says Šonka by way of explanation.

Šonka will be flying almost a new plane. Peter Besenyei competed with it only in five races. It is the latest development of the air race special Edge 540 V3. “The machine has a considerable potential but at the outset we have to be cautious in our estimates. We knew our last plane inside out and had a huge quantity of data. We knew what to do to be faster. By contrast, we have no data now and it seems we could have problems with the weight and the cooling system. We worked hard on the plane in winter but we will only see in Abu Dhabi what works and how,” says with cautious optimism the man who took fourth place in last year’s championship.

He would like to improve the overall rankings and finally win the race. “Yes, our team would like to try this and will make every effort to make this happened. It has to be said, though, that the field will be closer than ever. Air race became extremely competitive enviroment and every single detail can be decisive, you simply must not underestimate anything.” Šonka is also looking forward to the first-ever duels with Petr Kopfstein, who came to the elite Master Class from the Challengers group. The Czech Republic is becoming one of only three countries (CZ / US and France) that have two pilots at the championship. “It will be spine-tingling. Petr is sure to find his bearings quickly and he will be a very dangerous opponent. He has an experienced team, a fast plane, and it will be a marvellous season for the fans,” says Šonka.

The first race is scheduled in Abu Dhabi for 11 and 12 March and Czech fans can watch it live on the programme ČT Sport.

Red Bull Air Race
Martin Šonka
Petr Kopfstein

Video on YouTube

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