Thailand is confirmed to host the top international title in pylon air racing in 2017. The Sports Authority of Thailand, part of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, will host the Air Race 1 World Cup at the U – Tapao Naval Air Base on 17-19 November 2017.

This year’s World Cup is anticipated to be the biggest one yet with more teams competing than in any other international event in the sport. Thailand, one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world, is embarking on a major strategy of using sport as a boost for tourism, so hosting the Air Race 1 World Cup has become integral to Thailand’s plans.

Last year Thailand became the first country in the history of the Asia Pacific region to hold a pylon air race when it held a test event in preparation for the full World Cup of Air Racing this year.

The sport has been growing dramatically year on year and it is the only international air race which sees airplanes racing at the same time.  Air Race 1 is the international level of the sport known for 70 years as formula one air racing. It is true air racing in which eight airplanes race directly against each other at speeds of 450kph trying to cross the finish line first after eight laps around a tight 5km circuit at just 10 meters above the ground.

Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, The Minister of Tourism of Thailand, said: “Sport is in our hearts in Thailand and our passion for top level motorsport is exemplified by our commitment to host the Air Race 1 World Cup. As a leading global tourist destination, we are always striving for new ways to attract new visitors and this event helps us distinguish Thailand as an ever-changing innovator. We are eager to welcome the international fans of this sport to Thailand.”

Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eam Gool, Commander of U-Tapao Naval Airbase, said: “U-Tapao Airport is broadening its operations as an important aviation hub in South East Asia, so holding the Air Race 1 World Cup is an excellent demonstration of the high-quality robust services we offer at our facility. And the Royal Thai Navy is delighted to be able to share our airport with our community.”

Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race 1, stated: “Last year’s race in Thailand was such a fantastic success, proving that Thailand is a highly reliable sports event host. The race teams and the Air Race 1 organization are all eager to return to the world-class U-Tapao Airport to showcase our thrilling sport to the people of Thailand and TV audiences around the world. The Thai sports audience is a very enthusiastic and sophisticated fanbase and we look forward to developing our sport with them.”