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Alexander Rossi, Kirby Chambliss
Planes and Automobiles: Rossi, Chambliss Combine for Memorable Video

Alexander Rossi already had enough of an eventful year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having won the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie on a rapidly evaporating fuel tank.

But last month brought another unique moment on the oval, when the 24-year-old drove his Indy car alongside … an airplane.

Master Class pilot Kirby Chambliss, a two-time world champion, visited for a first-of-its-kind video shoot in advance of the Red Bull Air Race on Oct. 1-2 at IMS, piloting his Edge 540 raceplane alongside Rossi’s Dallara-Honda race car.

As you’ll see in the video, the pairing made for some unforgettable moments.

“I didn’t think anything of it until I was on track and there was a plane next to me,” said Rossi, driver of the No. 98 Honda for Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian. “It was a little bit trippy – when else are you going to be able to be driving an Indy car around the Speedway with a plane upside down next to you?”

Plumes of smoke usually aren’t a welcome sight at IMS, but that’s part of the show of a Red Bull Air Race plane. As Rossi sailed down the back straightaway – smoke-free – Chambliss was the, well, wingman in the air, billowing smoke.

Santa Claus

The two stars also switched roles, with Chambliss riding shotgun to Rossi in a two-seat Indy car and Rossi taking to the skies as Chambliss’ guest in a two-seat Red Bull airplane. Rossi experienced upwards of 6 Gs on the flight with Chambliss as the pair executed several dynamic aerial stunts.

“The fact that I got in the plane makes me question my own sanity,” Rossi said.

The Red Bull Air Race will feature the world’s best pilots negotiating a course over the IMS infield and Brickyard Crossing Golf Course at speeds exceeding 230 mph.

“People always say ‘you’re crazy,’” Chambliss said. “I take it as a compliment.”

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