Interview with Britain’s Ben Murphy ahead of Air Racing finale

15th November 2018

This weekend, Ben Murphy and the Blades Racing Team will close out a stellar rookie campaign in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship with the finale in Fort Worth, USA. Fresh off a career-best result at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and currently eighth overall, the former Team Leader of the RAF aerobatic team, The Red Arrows, took a few moments from his preparation to talk about his team, his season and a very bright future.

Ben, in Indianapolis you made the Final Four for the first time, and now, with only the stop at Texas Motor Speedway left, you are on track for one of the best seasons – potentially the best – ever recorded by a graduate of the sport’s Challenger Class. At the 2018 opener in February, could you have anticipated how quickly things would come together?

BM: I think what is very satisfying for me, is seeing how far the team have come in such a short period of time – and how much they still have to give; we’re only just getting started… We were never going to be fully ‘dialled in’ in our rookie season, and the fact that we have picked up some great results is testament to the hard work everybody has put in and how well we have gelled as a new team.

What about your raceplane? Getting an aircraft up to speed and customized for the pilot is a big priority for any new team. How did that go for you and the Blades this year? 

BM: We were lucky that our raceplane was ready to go and well set up; but in this game if you are not constantly evolving and modifying, then you will get left behind! We’ve made a few changes this season to keep up but are still lacking a lot of the big modifications that other teams are running. We are already looking at the in-season modifications we can make next year, but overall I really like flying this aircraft – I already feel very at home in it and am getting to know its limits and capabilities.

So we’ve talked about the team, the raceplane… that leaves the pilot! What is your mindset at this point in a remarkably successful season?

BM: My job now is to make sure we don’t try to run too quickly; I said at the start of this year that we need to lay solid foundations, and that is what we will continue to do through next season. The fact that the results are coming already is a good sign of what we are capable of in the future.

Well it’s fair to say that a lot of British motorsport fans are already expecting big things from your future. While you’re laying those foundations you mentioned, what do you think you and the Blades need to do to continue your progression?

BM: Keep learning, keep developing, keep pushing. Keep humble. We need to mature our processes to make sure that we are extracting the full benefit from each race, and we still have a lot of work to do in understanding the aerodynamic characteristics of our individual raceplane. Once we can fully exploit this area of development, I think we’ll see some big advancements. Our team is still growing and I’m confident that we will progress as planned. Most importantly though, we plan to keep on enjoying it! The opportunity to race in such an exciting World Championship series is amazing, and to be a part of a growing and dynamic motorsport is truly an honour. We hope to give our fans and sponsors another successful year next year but, first, we have the final race of 2018!

Don’t miss Ben Murphy’s last race of 2018 at Texas Motor Speedway on 17-18 November. For tickets, updates and how to watch, visit


Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar
2-3 February:          Abu Dhabi, UAE
20-22 April:              Cannes, France
26-27 May:               Chiba, Japan
23-24 June:              Budapest, Hungary
25-26 August:         Kazan, Russia
15-16 September: Wiener Neustadt, Austria
6-7 October:            Indianapolis, USA
17-18 November:  Fort Worth, USA

About Red Bull Air Race

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the globe. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h while enduring forces of up to 12G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

For more editorial content, visit


Powered by Calculate Your BMI