Air Race 1 coming to U-Tapao in November

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Six international aviators will soar above the skies of Sattahip as Thailand hosts the first Air Race 1 event in Asia from Nov. 19-20 at U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport.

Spectacular air racing comes to U-Tapao airport near Pattaya later this month. (Photo courtesy Air Race 1)
Spectacular air racing comes to U-Tapao airport near Pattaya later this month. (Photo courtesy Air Race 1)

The Sports Authority of Thailand will host the trials for a regional Air Race 1 competition to be held next year, with eight planes racing simultaneously around a set course at speeds of up to 450 kilometers per hour.

Air Race 1 is regarded as the aircraft equivalent of Formula 1 racing and is becoming increasingly popular around the world.  Air racing began in France in 1909.

The event will also include aircraft exhibitions, radio controlled airplanes, a simulation airport, and a display of the history of Air Race 1.

Five American and one French pilot, led by Tom Richard, the current AR1 world champ, will participate.  They arrived in Thailand this week and authorities will begin practicing emergency-response plans Nov. 13.

Qualifying heats will be held Nov. 19 with the final races taking place on the next day.  Spectators are welcome to attend both days.  Tickets are 300 baht at the gate which opens at 09:00 and the event runs into the evening.

Air Race 1 makes use of specially designed planes built to precise parameters in terms of the wing area and engine size.  These are then raced around a 5-km. circuit.

The U-Tapao event comes ahead of the Air Race 1 World Cup in November 2017.