Hall gets visit from motorsport royalty
Supporting pilot Matt Hall in his late-season charge for the World Championship, the latest Indy 500 racer in Australia’s Brabham motorsport dynasty was on hand for the first-ever Red Bull Air Race stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (USA) – Competing nine thousand miles from home as he battled for the World Championship, Australia’s only Red Bull Air Race pilot, Matt Hall, received a massive infusion of Race Day energy and support at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Australian motorsport royalty. Twenty-two-year-old Matt Brabham, the newest Indianapolis 500 racer of the iconic Brabham auto racing dynasty, came to cheer on his countryman and take in the debut of the ultimate motorsport series in the sky at a racetrack that is a US National Historic Site.
A decorated former RAAF fighter pilot and his country’s foremost aviator, Hall is part of a proud family heritage himself – he’s the third generation in his family to earn a pilot’s license, and he proposed to his wife (who like Hall is a former Wing Commander) at Kitty Hawk, the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight. Matt Hall, who has been flying in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship since 2009 and earned his best overall finish so far in second place last year, was recently recognized for his outstanding career in aviation when it was announced that the Honourable Company of Air Pilots would present him with the Australian Bi-Centennial Award.
The Brabham name has been synonymous with world-class motorsport for over six decades. The late Sir Jack Brabham – who, coincidentally, got his start as an RAAF Flight Mechanic, was a triple Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion and double Constructors’ Champion. Sir Jack’s sons Gary, David and Geoff carried on with outstanding motorsport careers of their own, and now grandsons Matthew and Sam are beginning to add to the racing legacy. Having competed in the 100th Indianapolis 500 this year as only the third third-generation driver in the history of the event, he was keen to see the Red Bull Air Race debut.
“These guys are phenomenal pilots. I think it’s one of those things where you have to see it live to get a true understanding,” he said. “The focus and concentration is one of the biggest things that relates to my sport.”
Brabham, whose goal is to someday become Indianapolis 500 champion as well as Formula One champion, explained the special motivation that motorsport contenders feel at The Brickyard: “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway means everything to me, it’s my life. And the Indianapolis 500 – with all the giants who have competed in it – it’s one of the coolest races in the world. To have the Red Bull Air Race here and the pilots flying around the speedway may be a little bit different than the race cars, but it’s pretty special.”