Red Bull Cancels Two Air Races

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With just three events left in its 2010 air-race series, Red Bull now has cancelled two of them, leaving the August race in Germany as the final event for this year. The cancellation of the race in Budapest, Hungary, was announced this week, while a race set for Portugal also was cancelled just a week ago. "We are obviously disappointed," said Bernd Loidl, CEO of the race organization. "Securing the future of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is paramount and making tough decisions is part of that process," Loidl said. "We look forward to announcing the 2011 calendar after the final round in Germany, including a much-anticipated return to New York in the United States." The races were flown in New York last month for the first time, drawing huge crowds to the venue along the Hudson River. The Portugal cancellation was blamed on delays in reaching a host city agreement, while "lengthy delays in the permissions process" were cited in Budapest.

The air race has been held in Budapest for six years. The course is unique in that pilots must fly under the historic Chain Bridge across the Danube River. The city is home to Red Bull pilot Peter Besenyei, who helped to develop the race series, and crowds of more than 600,000 spectators are the norm. Loidl said he hopes Budapest will be back on the calendar in 2011. The last race for this year will be held at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany on Aug. 7 and 8. Defending champion Paul Bonhomme holds a five-point lead over 2008 champion Hannes Arch of Austria.