Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race
Source: Red Bull

With less than a week to go before the Red Bull Air Race World Championship begins, to say that people are excited is an understatement. 

Fourteen of the world’s best pilots will be battling it out over the Abu Dhabi Corniche during the weekend of February 2 and 3.

Competing at speeds of 370km/h and overcoming forces of up to 10G, the pilots in the eight-race series make their 2018 debut in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

This year’s international contest will also see a new racing aircraft, the Edge 540 V2, and the return of the strong Great Britain team led by Ben Murphy, a former leader of the Red Arrows, the aerobatic display team of Britain’s Royal Air Force.

Competitors fly around an obstacle course, with penalties if they hit or fly outside the course marker pylons. The Red Bull series is due to end in November 2018. 

Here are eight things you should know about the Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi:

1. This year's Air Race season will begin in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for the 11th time running

2. The opening race of the championship will see racers twist and turn their way around a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons, while providing some thrilling sights for fans gathered on the scenic Corniche

Air Race Championship Abu Dhabi
Source: Red Bull

3. Spectators have been flocking to the event in huge numbers since the Red Bull Air Race first soared into the skies back in 2007

4. The high-flying squad of 14 pilots will be jetting in from all over the world for the big race

5. Reigning champion Yoshihide Muroya from Japan will be in top form to defend his title

6. There will be plenty of entertainment on the ground in Red Bull’s Activation Zone

7. Qualifying for the Abu Dhabi race will start at 11am on Friday, February 2, with the race itself kicking off at noon the following day

8. You can watch the show for free from the Corniche!

Corniche Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race
Source: Red Bull