Nigel Lamb races at Ascot this weekend

Posted on: 11th Aug 2016

One of the most accomplished pilots in the Red Bull Air Race, Great Britain’s own Nigel Lamb has come tantalizingly close to victory at Ascot Racecourse across two previous appearances. When the World Championship series flies above Berkshire again on 13-14 August, he’ll have one last chance.


“Sentimental favorite.” It’s a term that takes on deeper meaning when applied to pilot Nigel Lamb this week. As the only British contender in the Master Class of the Red Bull Air Race, the 2014 world champion will naturally be the favorite when racing action gets underway at the UK’s storied Ascot Racecourse on 13-14 August. Yet there will be extra emotion behind the sentiment of those in attendance, because after nearly nine seasons, this will be Lamb’s last home race. He’ll retire following the season finale in October.

The pilot himself, however, is focused not on October, but on the here and now. Nigel Lamb is one of the most accomplished names in the history of the ultimate motorsport series in the sky. Currently in sixth place overall, and not even a half dozen points away from a potential spot on the overall podium, the pilot’s fire to compete burns as bright as ever. After earning second place at Ascot in 2014, he’s keen to go all the way and deliver a home win for his supporters, which would also serve as a boost of momentum with races still left to go in Lausitz, Indianapolis and Las Vegas.

“Teamwork is crucial, especially in aviation,” Lamb asserts. Thanks to the luxury of consecutive races in Europe, the Breitling Racing Team was able to have the raceplane at home in Oxfordshire for much of the time since the previous race in Budapest a month ago, and with systems performing well, the focus has been on maintenance rather than modifications.

Lamb himself got a chance to enjoy the inspiration and camaraderie of a visit (and flights) with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team known as the Red Arrows. Held at Scampton, Lincolnshire, it was truly a meeting of the best of the best.

But now it’s time to get down to business. Overland racetracks like the one at Ascot are a special favorite for Lamb, and he declares that the British fans – who know their stuff when it comes to aviation – are “second to none.” If "second to none" can also apply to Nigel Lamb’s placement on Race Day, he’ll clinch the perfect farewell to Ascot.

In the Red Bull Air Race, which is the official world championship of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world's top pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. It’s the ultimate motorsport series in the sky.

Ascot’s in the air, and tickets are still available! The action kicks off with Qualifying on Saturday, 13 August, followed by Race Day on Sunday, 14 August 2016.