Fast facts: Kazan, year three.

For the third successive year, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will land in Kazan, Russia. This time around it will be the second of four stops for the series, which is in its final year of competition.

The previous two visits to Kazan could not have been more different. Under cloudy skies, heavy with the threat of rain in 2017 there were 67 pylon hits from practice one to the end of the race. In stark contrast, there were just 24 pylons in the line of fire last year, 14 of those hits were by Masterclass pilots.

Matt Hall of Australia performs during the finals at the fifth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Kazan, Russia on August 26, 2018.

In 2019, the race will also be the 92ndRed Bull Air Race, and it will be one that Matt Hall will be looking to make his own. In the 2018 race Hall finished a surprising seventh, following a pylon hit in the Round of 8 when we he was racing Spaniard Juan Velarde.

Despite the error, Hall was still in the points and remained in the championship hunt at the time. His ability to drag a result when the chips were down highlighted a statistic that remains as true today as it was during the last visit to Kazan – Hall has finished in the points in every single Red Bull Air Race he has contested. Ever.

In total, the Aussie pilot will come into the Russian race with 26 overall podiums to his name, six of them wins. Come Sunday June 16, he will be hunting win number seven, podium 27. Some people consider the number seven to be lucky. Here’s hoping.

Matt Hall (AUS) celebrates during the Award Ceremony at the second round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Cannes, France on April 22, 2018.

But racing the coolest planes in the world and producing visuals that are incomparable aside, here’s a few fast facts about our race location, to help put you on the spot in Russia with us:

  • Matt Hall Racing isn’t the only Aussie team to have spent time based in Kazan, the Socceroos made it their home for a time during their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign!
  • Kazan may not be Russia’s capital, but it is the capital of the Russian province of ‘Tatarstan’and has its own government and constitution. The city is sometimes described as the ‘Istanbul of Russia’ courtesy of it being a city where different cultures and religions meet.
  • Above buildings you will find two flags flying: The Russian flag, plus the green, white and red flag of Tatarstan. Accordingly, street signs are marked in Russian and Tatar.
  • The name Kazan means ‘cooking pot’ in Tatar, hinting at the fusion of cultures, where east meets west in Russia.
  • Kazan’s Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s the only Tatar fortress that is intact in Russia and it sits on the Volga River – Europe’s longest river at 3,700km in length.
  • While we are in Kazan the sun will rise each day at approximately 3am, setting around 8:25pm, making daylight just short of 17.5 hours. Now, tell us that isn’t a pilot’s dream!