Besenyei Back In The Air For Budapest Homecoming
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Peter Besenyei is back in the air as the first training sessions get underway in Budapest. The Hungarian ace is looking forward to competing in front of tens of thousands of adoring home town fans after he was sidelined in Windsor. His MXS-R was damaged during a photo shoot at Niagara Falls when he was forced to make an emergency landing just days before the race. Besenyei was not hurt but his pride and championship ambitions were slightly bruised â€“ it was, after all, the first time in Besenyeiâ€™s 38-year flying career that an airplane he was piloting was damaged.
MXS-R had problems with oil pressure
The MXS-R suddenly had problems with the oil pressure and Besenyei was en route to a nearby airfield when the engine abruptly quit. Besenyei managed to bring the plane down safely on the bumpy field.
â€œIâ€™m fine and the plane is ready for flight,â€ Besenyei said after repair work had been completed. â€œObviously I was upset because I couldnâ€™t participate in the race in Windsor. I was lucky I was not injured at all. It was just bad luck. Iâ€™m looking forward to Budapest. I think this is one of the most beautiful places in the world and itâ€™s the only Red Bull Air Race in a national capital. What makes it special is that itâ€™s a race that takes place in an area where a lot of people can see it. It obviously means a lot to me to race here. But thereâ€™s always a bit more pressure. Itâ€™s always a good feeling to have the support of the people in Budapest and Iâ€™ll try to do my best for them.â€
Budapest race over the Danube River
The race in Budapest, which is run over the Danube River in the heart of the city, has been a fixture in the championship since 2003 when Besenyei won in front of an enormous crowd. The big crowds have returned faithfully each year and Besenyei was there as well â€“ taking third in 2004, 4th in 2005 and 2007, and 5th in 2008. The only blemish was a DSQ in 2006.
Many pilots openly admit they look forward to Budapest all year, and some have called it the iconic race of the championship with its spectacular start under the picturesque Chain Bridge. For some Budapest is to the Red Bull Air Race what Monaco is to Formula One.
Budapest is like Monaco
â€œYes, Budapest is a very special place, just like Monaco,â€ said Besenyei, a national hero in Hungary and the first man to fly upside down underneath the Chain Bridge. â€œBut I would be happier if the track were more complicated â€“ like the F1 track in Monaco. The track in Budapest will be a quite simple one.â€
Besenyei – who had finished in the top 3 overall in his first five seasons and was 2nd overall in 2004, 2005 and 2006 â€“ slipped to 5th in 2008 and was eager to bounce back onto the podium in 2009. His campaign got off to a bumpy start with 10th place in Abu Dhabi but he roared back in style with 4th in San Diego. He was looking to build upon that in Windsor.
Besenyei: “I had some bad luck a couple of times”
â€œThis hasnâ€™t been my year until now,â€ Besenyei said. â€œI had some bad luck a couple of times. But after Windsor Iâ€™ll be concentrating on getting good results at each race. Iâ€™m looking forward to the second half and obviously to next year as well. Itâ€™s better not to look back.â€
Besenyei, who has flown the Edge 540 and the Extra 300SR in past seasons, is enchanted with his new MXS-R and he seems much happier flying in a plane that is clearly more competitive again.
â€œAbsolutely,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a really good plane and weâ€™re just beginning to get used to each other. The better your plane, the better your times. Itâ€™s that simple. Itâ€™s all about the plane. The MXS-R is a new plane with a powerful engine. Itâ€™s got a good power to weight ratio. And thatâ€™s what all pilots need. Youâ€™ve got to do some modifications but itâ€™s a lot easier to do that if you have a good base like the MXS-R to start with.â€
Source: Red Bull Air Race