SOURCE: Red Bull

September 22, 2007 22:19 ET

Paul Bonhomme Speeds Into First Place in "America's Finest City"

More Than 50,000 Awed by Red Bull Air Race World Series Ninth Stop in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - September 22, 2007) - Paul Bonhomme's superior flying performance landed him the top standing in the 2007 Red Bull Air Race World Series' pivotal, penultimate stop in San Diego's Embarcadero Bay. Over 50,000 spectators around the San Diego Bay watched the British pilot celebrate his 43rd birthday today with a winning finishing time of 1:23.80. The ninth stop of the 2007 10-leg world series tour helped narrow the competitive battle for the title of 2007 world championship title. Separated by fractions of a second, American Kirby Chambliss came in second at 1:24.69, with British race pilot Nigel Lamb at his heals in third place.

Bonhomme entered today's race behind Series standing leader American Mike Mangold, but today he pulled ahead to take the leading position entering into the final race in Perth.

"If someone had come up to me a week ago and offered me a win here with Mike back in fifth, I would have snatched it with both hands," said Bonhomme. "I'm truffled. I'm in a much better position now than I had been. I had been hoping to go to Perth not being any points behind."

The three top finishers share the designation of the world's most skilled and highly trained pilots with 10 other pilots who are part of the Red Bull Air Race, and who compete at each stop of the Series.

ALL THE WORLD IS SAN DIEGO'S STAGE

The Red Bull Air Race World Series is a brand new dimension in motorsport. Flying at speeds exceeding 250 mph just 10-20 feet above the earth, 13 of the world's best race pilots duel for one of the three positions on the podium. Unlike other types of air racing, Red Bull Air Race pilots race against the clock, one at a time, in order to push themselves and their high-performance race planes into 10 G turns as they maneuver through "Air Gate" pylons and a low-level slalom course.

The Series' stop officially kicked off San Diego's month-long Fleet Week celebrations, and added to the city's already extensive aviation history. Despite foreboding weather reports throughout the week, San Diegans watched the race against a bright, blue sky. Special demonstrations by the Navy's fleet of aircraft included the Super Hornet jet as well as special appearances by the Red Bull Helicopter and Red Bull's elite skydiving team. The breathtaking waterfront skyline set the backdrop for a picture-perfect addition to San Diego's aviation history.

"This was a phenomenal opportunity for San Diego to be on the world stage," said San Diego Port Commissioner Stephen P. Cushman. "And any time we can show the world what San Diego looks like and how beautiful our weather is and how beautiful our bay is, it's a great opportunity for us."

Now in its third year, the Red Bull Air Race World Series has ten stops worldwide with the Series finale in November in Perth, Australia.

SMOKE ON!

"Red Bull Air Race is the most exciting live motorsport event you could ever go to," said Ryan Furlong, an Arizona State University graduate student. "I would describe it as a celebration of aviation with thousands of people. Seeing the aircraft fly through there at those speeds is just unreal. I wanted to come see it in San Diego because it's just so much fun being around this aircraft and aviation experience." Furlong drove out from Phoenix for the weekend to see the race.

For complete race details and series rankings, please visit www.redbullairrace.com or contact Maddy Stephens at 210-414-1904/maddy.stephens@us.redbull.com. For complimentary images cleared for media use, please visit www.sportsandnews.com, Air Race Pictures, user and password: airrace.

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