Hall finishes eighth as aggressive strategy sees Budapest boundaries exceeded

Hall finishes eighth as aggressive strategy sees Budapest boundaries exceeded

A daring strategy to push hard for victory in round four of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has seen Aussie pilot Matt Hall finish eighth, exceeding the competition G-force limit in a head-to-head battle with series leader Yoshi Moruya of Japan.

While Hall failed to progress to the final four, today’s overall result proved to be a vintage day for the Air Race as two-time champion Kirby Chambliss won his first race in just under nine years. The American’s his last triumph came in August 2008.

Canada’s Pete McLeod was second, Muroya occupying the final step on the podium.

Matt Hall of Australia performs during the finals at the fourth stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary on July 2, 2017.
Matt Hall of Australia performs during the finals at the fourth stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary on July 2, 2017.

Although eighth is a far cry from Hall’s winning ways over the past two seasons, the Aussie finished the day pleased to have made strong progress with his new plane under race conditions.

“Today’s over-G in gate seven was my fault, but it was our plan to go out and be aggressive,” Hall said.

“Since we have transitioned into our new plane – a completely different type of aircraft to what I have flown in my first five seasons – the high-G pull has been our weakness. These planes have a 30G-per-second onset rate and you literally have to do thousands of vertical turns to know how to set the G correctly.

“Our data all week has shown that we lose 0.7 seconds per vertical turn by being conservative at the moment. Coming into the Round of 8 against Yoshi, who has been blindingly quick of late, we had to try and make up that time. To do that we went aggressive.”

Ironically, Muroya incurred a two second penalty in the Round of 8 and recorded a time more than two seconds slower than Hall’s best in the day’s earlier heat. Despite the final outcome, Hall was adamant he’d do nothing different if faced with the same situation a second time over.

“If we went conservative and hoped that Yoshi made a mistake we would not have learned anything,” he said with sincere conviction.

“I’m not overly disappointed, I had another fly in the track, which was the important thing. I got to experiment with the boundaries.

“Today we had too much G, but it wasn’t by a massive amount, it was just a hair too much.”

The next stop for the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship is an all-new event in Kazan, Russia from July 22-23. Hall remains 11th in the championship standings.