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Lleida-Alguaire hosts first F1 Air Racing show in Europe

Between Friday 30th May and Sunday 1st June, Lleida-Alguaire Airport will play host to the first ever European race in the Air Race F1 competition , a long-established American flying competition. The event, called the Lleida Air Challenge, will also include a race of the Spanish aerobatic flying championship and other aeronautical activities. Practice started on Wednesday but the actual races will start on Friday and end on Sunday with the Air Race F1 event. 8 aircraft fly at 10-15 metres above ground level at 400km/h. The CEO of Air Race F1, Jeff Zaltman, said that he wants the competition to grow in Europe and Catalonia to act as its base for operations.

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30 May 2014 02:01 PM

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ACN / Mònica Angla

Barcelona (CNA).- Between Friday 30th May and Sunday 1st June, Lleida-Alguaire airport will play host to the first ever European race of the famous American flying competition, Air Race F1 competition. The event, called the Lleida Air Challenge, will also include a race of the Spanish aerobatic flying championship and other aeronautical activities. Practice started on Wednesday but the races themselves will start on Friday and end on Sunday with the Air Race F1 race. 8 aircrafts fly at 10-15 metres above the ground at 400km/h. The CEO of Air Race F1, Jeff Zaltman, said that he wants the competition to grow in Europe and Catalonia to act as its base for operations.


Air Race F1 planes must weigh at least 227 kilograms and have 6.13 square metres of wing area. Their engines have to develop 100 horse power, allowing these aircraft to reach almost 400km/h during the race. Pilots need to have great skill in order to compete. They have to be able to keep racing upside-down 15 metres above the ground. The eight airplanes must fly 10 laps around a 5 kilometre long circuit and the first to finish is the winner.

The practice runs of the Spanish aerobatic flying competition and Air Race F1 take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The first competitive flights for the Air Race F1 will be held on Friday. On Saturday, the Spanish aerobatic flying championship will take place and the airport will offer also an open day. Finally, on Sunday there will be war birds, aerobatics and air racing throughout the afternoon.

The establishment of the competition

The CEO of Air Race F1, Jeff Zaltman, said that he wants the competition to grow in Europe and Catalonia to act as its base for operations. At the moment the event is losing money due to a lack of facilities and the fact that the competition is still unknown here, but he hopes that it will end up being a commercial success. According to Zaltman, the Catalan Government and institutions have been "really helpful" with the initiative.

If the event in Lleida-Alguaire succeeds, Air Race F1 will come back to Catalonia next season. One of the pilots of the Air Race F1, Jay Jones, said that he expected the competition to be welcomed in Europe. He has competed in flying races for 14 years and has already worked with European staff in the American competitions.

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  • A Formula One Air Racing aircraft at Lleida-Alguaire Airport before a training session (by S. Miret)

  • Aircrafts ready to start practicing for the first Formula One Air Race in Lleida (by S. Miret)

  • A Formula One Air Racing aircraft at Lleida-Alguaire Airport before a training session (by S. Miret)
  • Aircrafts ready to start practicing for the first Formula One Air Race in Lleida (by S. Miret)
Lleida-Alguaire hosts first Air Race F1 show in Europe