• The sun is setting on the Red Bull Air Race as 2019 is announced as the final series. (Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool)
    The sun is setting on the Red Bull Air Race as 2019 is announced as the final series. (Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool)

Red Bull announced this week that it will discontinue the Red Bull Air Race (RBAR) World Championship at the conclusion of the 2019 series.

According to the announcement, a lack of support from venues and patrons contributed to the decision to cancel the 2020 series and all series beyond it.

"The Red Bull Air Race provided sports entertainment of highest quality but did not attract the level of outside interest as many other Red Bull events across the world," the announcement said. "Red Bull thanks the pilots, their teams, partners, the host cities as well as the Red Bull employees for all they have done to make these enjoyable and memorable events."

The 2019 series will conclude with three more races: Russia, Hungary and Japan, with the Saudi Arabia race in November and the Indianapolis race scheduled for October seemingly canceled.

For the past two years, the RBAR series has started with gaps in the competition schedule as the organisers worked to firm up dates and venues. This year began with three venues to be decided, one of which was filled by Saudi Arabia, but the other two remained vacant.

Australian pilot Matt Hall put out the news to his followers last night.

"While disappointed that a sport, which had significant potential to succeed [has been canceled], Matt Hall Racing wish to express their gratitude to Red Bull for the opportunity to compete at the top level of aviation for the past eight seasons," a post on his website states.

"With three races remaining in 2019, Matt Hall Racing will endeavour to finish their time in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship as race-winning contenders. As always, the team will pride itself in being hard, but fair competitors capable of excelling in a high-pressure environment."

Hall has finished second in the championship three times: 2015, 2016 and 2018. He currently sits fifth in the 2019 series, 14 points behind leader Japan's Yoshi Muroya.

Red Bull Air Race was the brainchild of Hungarian aerobatic champion Peter Besenyei and had its first season in 2003, with Besenyei fittingly the first champion. The series peaked with 10 races in the 2006-2008 period, including three events in Perth.

Matt Hall made his debut in 2009, stunning the race world with a third-place championship finish in his first season. After several safety scares, including Brazilian pilot Adilson Kindelmann crashing into the Swan River and Hall hitting the water in Windsor, Canada in 2010, the series went into hiatus for the next three years.

It returned in a different format in 2014, without the Perth leg. The new series was sanctioned by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) as an official motorsport, but never recovered its popularity.

The next race, Kazan in Russia, is scheduled for 15-16 June.

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