Red Bull air race may be a permanent feature in KL

Nigel Lamb of Britain banking hard through the pylons during the Red Bull air race in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA - The inaugural 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship staged here could be a permanent feature, based on rave reviews.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who gave it the "thumbs up", said the Government had agreed in principle to host the event here over the next five years, subject to a review conducted after three years.

He said ministry officials would hold talks with event organisers Red Bull on the matter.

"It has been a successful event here. There are a lot of positives and the ministry believes that a consistent calendar date will boost the tourism industry," he told reporters covering the event here yesterday.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an official world championship accredited by the FAI - World Air Sports Federation.

Since it was officially launched in 2003, the event has become globally renowned as the fastest and most exhilarating motorsport in the world with a combination of speed, low altitude and extreme manoeuvrability performed by exceptional pilots.

The air race organisers cancelled all events scheduled for 2011, 2012 and 2013 worldwide, before it was resumed this year.

Yesterday's exciting race saw the seven-year wait for British air racer Nigel Lamb end when he chalked up his first victory in 44 races.

Lamb, 58, clocked in a time of one minute 15.023 seconds to pip favourite and current world championship leader Hannes Arch by less than a fifth of a second.

"I learnt a lot this week and would like to thank my engineering team for doing a great job. Malaysia has become my favourite race course," he said.

"I enjoyed the set-up in Putrajaya, with the airport and lovely scenery nearby. I am looking forward to the next race here," he added.

Arch said despite the humid weather, Malaysia was a positive experience for him.