Thailand will become the first country in the history of the Asia Pacific region to hold a pylon air race, featuring multiple airplanes racing directly against each other.  The Sports Authority of Thailand will host the race at the U – Tapao Naval Air Base on 19-20 November 2016.

Air Race 1 is the international level of the sport known as formula one air racing. It is pure air racing in which eight airplanes race simultaneously at speeds of 450kph vying to cross the finish line first after eight laps.

Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, The Minister of Tourism of Thailand, said: “Thailand is very happy to have won a bid to host this unique event. Thailand prides itself on being on being a leader on the cutting edge of the tourism industry and by inviting the Air Race 1 – the most elite level of air race – Thailand is solidifying its position as a top destination in Asia. We look forward to a long collaboration with Air Race 1 and we welcome the pilots, the teams and the thousands of fans that enjoy this sport.”

Rear Admiral Luechai Sri-Eam Gool, Commander of U-Tapao Naval Airbase, stated: “We are pleased to offer the support of our international airport to Air Race 1 in a joint effort to make history in the region. We are delighted to share an exciting and fun event with our local community and international tourists alike.”

Jeff Zaltman, CEO of Air Race 1, said: “Thailand is truly innovating and pioneering in sports tourism. We are honored to have been invited by such a remarkable country to showcase our sport to new and eager audiences. Thailand is a beautiful country, rich in culture and with a long tradition in sports of all kinds. We are proud to be able to introduce something that is not only new to Thailand, but new to the entire continent. And we are very privileged to cooperate with the Royal Thai Navy and U-Tapao Airport, which offer us such fine facilities and expertise.”

The 2016 Air Race 1 event at U-Tapao Airport will be a test event to launch and promote the sport in Thailand. In 2017 a full Air Race 1 World Cup event is planned.