This weekend: First US race for Blades Racing Team

5th October 2018

Ben Murphy is no newcomer to the USA’s historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Across the past two seasons he earned a pair of podium finishes at “The Brickyard” in the second competition category of the Red Bull Air Race, the Challenger Class. Now contending in the World Championship with the Blades Racing Team around him, Murphy will return to the century-old racetrack this Saturday and Sunday for the penultimate stop on the 2018 calendar.

Murphy and the Blades have had an outstanding rookie campaign in the Master Class so far, though not without ups and downs. After delivering a season-best performance with a top-five finish at the August stop in Russia, they endured what they frankly admit was the worst result in their young World Championship career at the recent race in Austria, where four seconds of penalty saw them finish in 13th place.

“I had a good start… then I didn’t execute my plan,” explained Murphy after the race. “The goal remains the same as it was at the beginning of the season – just to learn as much as we can. We have two more races, and we’ve got a quick raceplane. Once we piece things together, we know we’ll be quick, so just forget this one and come back stronger.”

Can the Blades turn a performance to forget into a race to remember? With only three weeks between the Austrian stop and this weekend’s speedway showdown, there has been little time to prepare, but Murphy’s previous experience flying over the Indianapolis infield may serve him well, as the basic racetrack layout has not changed since last season. And from the moment they finish at Indy, the Blades will be working flat out to refine their raceplane in the six weeks before the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway. They are already keen to get a jumpstart on 2019.

“We came into this season expecting it to be a year of learning, and that hasn’t changed. Every experience is valuable,” says Murphy, a decorated former Royal Air Force pilot and Team Leader of the RAF aerobatic team The Red Arrows. “We’re excited to be here at Indy, meeting some new American fans and opening the next chapter in our progress.”

Ben Murphy and the Blades Racing Team will fly at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on 6-7 October 2018. For tickets, behind-the-scenes stories and all the World Championship updates: 

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.

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