Red Bull Air Race has released the 2019 race calendar, which will include a round in Saudi Arabia for the first time.
The season, which kicks off in Abu Dhabi 8-9 February, contains eight race with two locations yet to be decided.
Saudi Arabia will conclude the season in November after the Fort Worth round was dropped from the calendar. Also missing from the tentative schedule is Cannes, France and Wiener Neustadt, Austria, both of which hosted races for the first time in 2018.
From Abu Dhabi, the series will go to Europe at a venue yet to be announced, then to Kazan in Russia and Budapest before going to Chiba in Japan, another unannounced round in Asia, Indianapolis and back to Saudi Arabia for the final round.
Australian pilot Matt Hall finished second in the championship last year, and he and his team are keyed up to have another crack at the title in 2019.
“We think we can be the world champions," Hall said. "We’ve been so close three times now. Second in the world three times means we’ve got a good formula, team and plane and I think we can do it.
“Just the other day we got out at our airport with one of our planes and ran through a race simulation as a team, and the adrenaline kicked in. Everyone had a smile on their face and looked at each other with fire in their eyes, it’s like ‘yep, this is why we do it and we’re ready to go’."
2019 Red Bull Air Race World Championship Calendar
8-9 February – Abu Dhabi, UAE
TBA – Europe
15-16 June – Kazan, Russia
13-14 July – Budapest, Hungary
7-8 September – Chiba, Japan
19-20 October – Indianapolis, USA
8-9 November – Saudi Arabia