SOURCE: Red Bull

May 04, 2008 20:56 ET

Paul Bonhomme Flies Past Competition to Claim First Position in San Diego

American Pilots Fly on Bonhomme's Tail With Second and Third Place Finishes

SANTA MONICA, CA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2008) - The fierce competition between British pilot Paul Bonhomme and American pilot Mike Mangold came to a head in San Diego as Bonhomme claimed his second win of the 2008 Red Bull Air Race season. More than 120,000 fans attended the two-day race weekend as Mike Mangold attempted to pull in a first place finish on American soil.

"Here in San Diego it's an interesting track," said Bonhomme. "You have to be consistent in every set all the time. Today we saw some tight flying, and I had to work very hard to get this spot."

Mangold placed second with a time of 1:19.24 and American Pilot Kirby Chambliss rounded out the podium with 3rd place at 1:17.61 in the 3rd Place Fly-Off. American Pilot Michael Goulian, fueled by country pride, pulled in his fastest time ever making it to fifth position with a finishing time of 1:21.04.

Eight pilots made it past the qualifying round to be cleared for takeoff on race day from the Naval Air Station, North Island where this year's Red Bull Air Race Airport was based. The Series kicked off Fleet Week San Diego's 2008 events with the Port of San Diego Sea and Air Parade.

EXCEEDING RACE EXPECTATIONS

Returning Red Bull Air Race fans relived the adrenaline and energy of race day, and first-time spectators jumped right into the excitement while rooting for their favorite pilots. From the Embarcadero Marine Park to Coronado Island to boats lining the bay, everyone reserved their spots for the best view of the action. Some 800 fans got an extraordinary chance to meet pilots and their crew up close during a special pit lane walk on the morning of qualifying day.

"This is my first time at the Red Bull Air Race. I've seen other air shows, but this competition is completely different," said Michael Osotawa who drove in with friends from Chino. "There is no better place to see the event than San Diego. It's not only entertaining, but it's highly competitive with all the obstacles."

The Series celebrated its return to San Diego's blue skies and sparkling waters. With the city's rich naval and aviation background, it set the perfect backdrop for the second round of the 2008 Red Bull Air Race World Series and drew in record number crowds.

FROM AMERICA'S FINEST CITY TO MOTOR CITY

Still mid-air after securing his second place finish, Mangold spoke to the crowd about how he's going to go into the third round of the 2008 Red Bull Air Race World Series in Detroit, MI -- "Go faster." The Series also returns to London, Budapest, Porto, and Perth, which all held races in 2007. For the first time, Sweden will host a round of the Red Bull Air Race World Series.

In the United States, fans can watch each race on Sunday evenings on Fox Sports Network starting in July. The San Diego race will air on July 20 and again on September 28.

For further information please register at the new Red Bull Air Race Newsroom which can be accessed via the 'Press' link on www.redbullairrace.com. The Red Bull Air Race Newsroom is a full media service providing print news, photography, radio, TV and web clips.

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