The three official associations which govern the sport of Formula One Air Racing come from The United States, the United Kingdom and France. The oldest one, which founded the sport in 1947 in the United States, is the International Formula One Air Racing Association (IF1). IF1 has been running races for almost 70 years and is the recognized international authority on the Formula One class.
The British association, which first brought the sport to Europe in the early 1970s, is the Formula Air Racing Association (FARA) of the Royal Aero Club, a founding member of the World Air Sports Federation.
The French association is the Association des Pilotes D’Avions de Formules (APAF) which has the most recent and robust experience with the sport in Europe and will provide almost half the teams competing in Air Race 1 in June.
The three associations will sanction Air Race 1 and ratify the results as official provided that it be run in a safe and fair manner according to their official rules. The Local Organizing Committee, hosted by the Government of Cataluña, the Regional Government of Lleida and the Lleida City Hall, is working closely with Air Race 1, the associations, national authorities, the Aeroclub Barcelona-Sabadell and other experts to ensure that safety remains the top priority at all times and that the competition will be fair and authentic. The three associations will jointly run the contest under a common approved set of Formula One rules.
In Formula One – the oldest air race class – all airplanes race directly against each other at the same time at speeds of over 400kph on a tight circuit just two kilometers end to end.
Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race 1, said: “We are grateful to have the approval and confidence of these prestigious organizations that played such an important role in the development of air racing throughout history. By endorsing Air Race 1 we are embarking together on a path of growth for this sport. The unrivalled expertise provided by their members will be invaluable to the safe and fair running of a world class competition. We are proud to be a part of their Formula One community.”
The three associations have traditionally run all the national level events within their own countries – the IF1 doing so for at least 50 consecutive years. The Air Race 1 will be the first truly joint cooperative international event by the Formula One powerhouses in an effort to take the sport worldwide and mainstream.
Steve Senegal, President of IF1, commented that: “The Formula One Air Racing community in America has enjoyed a long and full history and we are thrilled to see the sport realizing new growth in Europe and beyond . We see this as a great boost to the air racing world here in the US and worldwide. We are pleased to contribute our know ledge and authority to the event and to collaborate with the other esteemed associations
to ensure Air Race 1 is the biggest success possible.”
Martin Luton of FARA, said:“ Britain has been responsible for many of the most influential moments in the history of air racing in all its forms, but Formula One has been absent for some time in Britain, so we have been putting a lot of effort into reviving Formula One back home in recent years. This new international collaboration will be a great launch pad for the development of new pilots and more national events to support the international Air Race 1 series.”
Dominique Milcendeau, President of APAF, said: “We are delighted to be working with our friends and colleagues from the USA and Britain to expand the opportunities for Formula One pilots and fans. We share with them and Air Race 1 the same thorough approach to safety and sporting codes. Since 1976, APAF has organized many French national races and now we look forward to extending the reach of our sport.
French aviation history is rich with racing competitions – in fact, the first air race in the world took place in France – so we are proud to again be an influence at the beginning of this exciting new international series which we believe will catapult the level of popularity for the sport.”
Air Race 1 is also partnering with Aeroclub Barcelona-Sabadell, which is coordinating the Spanish National Aerobatic Championships,various exciting air displays and other entertainment to be held during the event in Lleida. The Aeroclub, which was founded in 1931 and boasts about 1,000 members,is an experienced event organizer and an integral part of the leadership and success of the event.
Daniel Ventura Gonzalez, Vice-President of the Aeroclub Barcelona-Sabadell and Air Show Director of the event, said:“We are looking forward to hosting this thrilling sports event. Catalunya is steeped in aviation tradition and expertiseso we are confident that our aero club and the Lleida-Alguaire Airport will be an excellent platform upon which to build the annual Air Race 1 series. We are also certain that Air Race 1 will inspire many new Spanish pilots to focus on developing their talents in air sports and soon we may have a Spanish Champion in air racing.”
The Air Race 1 will be hosted by the Lleida-Alguaire Airport with support from the government of the city of Lleida and the government of
Catalunya on the 1st of June 2014 and will be televised around the world.