The 2010 version of the Red Bull Air Race (RBAR) has come to a close and I would like to send a hearty congrats to Paul Bonhomme. Paul was his steady self all season and deserved to win again this year.
For Team #99, we surely had a season of “what if’s”. What if our engine started in the Final Four in Abu Dhabi? What if we didn’t have oil pressure issues in Perth? What if our fancy home built race engine didn’t blow up in Windsor? What if I pulled a little harder here or a little less there? What if I didn’t fly in Germany with the Flu?
We will never know because that’s racing. There are many factors that go into winning a championship and for us, it just wasn’t in the cards this year.
This is also the end of a chapter in the history of the RBAR. We all hope that the series will come back bigger and better in 2012. There is such a positive momentum in this sport that I think it should continue as it influences the lives of many people in such a good way. There are many kids dreaming of flying some day because they have watched a RBAR.
What most people don’t know, is that this week in Germany the RBAR family suffered a tragedy. The Air Race’s Technical Director, Adrian Judd was killed in a high speed motorcycle accident on a public road. In a sport where politics, money, and egos are the norm, Adrian ruled with the simple guidelines of common sense, honesty, and fairness. He was one of the “stars” of the RBAR who you didn’t see flying in a race plane. But, without him, the series would have been much different. Adrian was someone I respected greatly and will miss him immensely.
Which brings me to the real point of this blog: There are many great aviators in the world, and all of the pilots in the RBAR certainly fit into that category. But the performance of an athlete or a pilot pales in comparison in regards to the measure of that man’s character. Long after the glory of achievement has ended, a person will be remembered by the impact they made on their sport, friends, and fans.
Adrian was a person that will be remembered as a “great one”, not because of what he did, but because of who he was.
Fly high my friend!!!
Spikey Mikey the “Green Man”