Nigel Lamb and Paul Bonhomme race around Isle of Wight to honour British aviation milestones

TO celebrate the return of the Red Bull Air Race World Series to London on 2 – 3 August, current World Series leader Paul Bonhomme raced a Spitfire against the MX2 yesterday through the Needles and around the Schneider Trophy race track.According to Red Bull, Bonhomme’s aim was to test the speed and agility of the Spitfire, against a modern day plane designed specifically for the Red Bull Air Race, the MX2, piloted by his opponent Nigel Lamb.This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first production line Spitfire and the 85th anniversary of the first Schneider Trophy race in the UK which was a speed race over 200km contested by the Spitfire’s predecessor, the Supermarine S.6b.  In a nod to the UK Schneider Trophy course which was situated around the Solent over Calshot and Cowes, Bonhomme and Lamb flew their aeroplanes on a lap around the Isle of Wight, using the stunning Needles as a natural start and finish gate.  The time trial and agility test brought together two of the world’s most impressive flying machines of their respective eras in a celebration of air racing though the ages.Pilot reporter Kirsten Corrigan was there to witness the race and talk exclusively to the pilots – read more in the August issue of Pilot magazine, out 10