Thailand will host the very first Air Race 1 in the Asia-Pacific region. Multiple races will take place at the U-tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield in the Eastern Region on 19-20 November 2016.

The Sports Authority of Thailand under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will be the host for the Air Race, which features eight airplanes racing simultaneously around a set course at speeds of up to 450 kmph. Air Race 1 is regarded as the aircraft equivalent of Formula 1 racing and is becoming increasingly popular around the world.

H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “This is a highly exciting sporting event, and we are very proud to be the first nation in the region chosen to host it. The fact that Thailand is increasingly chosen to stage large-scale shows like Air Race 1 is evidence that the kingdom is seen as having the infrastructure, expertise and safety measures in place to ensure successful and memorable events. I know the Air Race 1 will be a fun and exciting event, and I look forward to seeing it return to Thailand in the future.”

Air Race 1 makes use of specially designed planes built to specific parameters in terms of the wing area and engine size. These are then raced around a 5-km circuit. It takes all the skill of the pilots to guide their plane to the finish lane ahead of competitors.

Air racing began in France in 1909 and now takes many forms with followers from all over the world. The event at U-Tapao is aimed at promoting the sport in Thailand and across the region in preparation for the Air Race 1 World Cup event in November 2017. On 19 November, there will be qualifying heats with the final races taking place on 20 November. Spectators are allowed to witness these adrenalising races on both days. The ticket fee is 300 Baht and only sold at the event.

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