Two groups of pilots took to the blue skies over Rovinj, Croatia on Wednesday to get an early view of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship track on the traditional Recon Flight ahead of the weekend's racing.
Kirby Chambliss of the United States led his rivals Nicolas Ivanoff of France and Pete McLeod of Canada on one Recon flight taking in the breathtaking scenery of the historic town and the challenging race track set up just off the shore of one of the most picturesque towns on the Adriatic Sea, Rovinj. Chambliss then flew with last year’s winner, Austria's Hannes Arch and Germany's Matthias Dolderer for another fly-by which included an aerial inspection of the iconic St John at Sea lighthouse and the stunning islands just off the coast from Rovinj, which is hosting the Red Bull Air Race for the second straight year.
Britain's Paul Bonhomme currently leads the world championship with 24 points from back-to-back wins in the first two races of the eight stop 2015 season. Bonhomme wants revenge in Rovinj after losing last year's race to Arch by eight one hundredths of a second - the narrowest margin of victory in the sport's history.
The race in Rovinj, the first of four European stops, pays tribute to the rich aviation tradition in the region which includes nearby Slovenia, Austria and Italy. For Dolderer and Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic as well as for Arch it is also a home race of sorts.