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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 2 June, 2008 12:20 PM

The Red Bull Air Races Heat Up The Detroit Riverfront

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / AMERICAJR.com

Hundreds of Thousands of people are lined up along the Detroit side of the riverfront.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

In a hot, yet almost over eighty degree weather in downtown Detroit, there were needs here yesterday. There was the need for people from USA Network promoting their new summer series, In Plain Sight, which debuts tonight with limited commercial interruptions at 10 p.m. But here at the Hart Plaza, there's the need for speed in the Motor City.

The Red Bull Air Race is an international racing event that was developed in 2001 by the Red Bull think-tank and the idea was from an idea to combine flying with the most exciting elements of motor racing. The purpose is to create a brand-new aviation racing that'd test the ability of pilots all over the world -- an event in the air that is more about speed, but also about precision and skill. The result would be a specially designed obstacle course which the pilots would navigate at incredible, breathtaking speed. In other words, this could be "the Grand Prix" of all races that was in the works for two years.

The event was completely sold-out yesterday before the qualifying, as several hundreds and thousands of people went to get an closer look outside the GM Wintergarden at the Renaissance Center, parking lots, the Plaza -- anyplace to watch the pilots push the limit in the air. For instance, one of yesterday's side acts in the early afternoon was the Race for the Cure run/walk.

"It's pretty amazing how those planes fly close to each other," said Laura, who ran 5K (3.1 miles) on behalf for the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure, in which the proceeds go to breast cancer research. "[There are] A lot of people walking downtown to get a closer or better look."

From Stockholm to London to Budapest to San Diego, Detroit is the second American city that is hosting the Red Bull Air Race. Radio stations 93.9 FM (The River) and 97.1 FM (The Ticket) are covering and promoting this event as well as their shows inside the Renaissance Center.

"This is great," states Michael Goulian of Massachusetts, 39, who's ranked eighth with six points after two races at the Detroit City Airport that lies about eight miles northeast of downtown Detroit and the race course. "I guess I probably should have the longest lines because the race is closest to my home town. It's really nice though. Everyone in here is so excited to come to the race and be a part of it."

Sadly, the qualifiying race was grounded the other day due to strong winds going at 39 miles per hour. So, the qualifying race will resumed Sunday at 11 a.m., along with the race. On Saturday inside the Renassiance Center, there was a simulation of the race from Hotseat Flight Simulation. Still, it was the money and effort to come to the Red Bull Air Race.

"People want to go here, have fun, and relax," said a male representative of RSIG Security. "People want to drink and forget about their troubles." Those "troubles" include Michigan's declining economy, the increase in gas, bills that need to be paid, work, and so forth. But that shouldn't matter here at the Red Bull Air Race -- because this is one of the weekends to unwind.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / AMERICAJR.com

Airplanes pass over the Detroit River.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / AMERICAJR.com

This Detroit Red Wings fan drives down Atwater Street during the event.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / AMERICAJR.com

The Red Bull girls stand outside Compuware Arena near Campus Martius Park.

 

Click Here to see more pictures from Red Bull Detroit Air Races.

 

 

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