Hall to haul rental around Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race track

Australian Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall begins his world championship campaign in Abu Dhabi this Friday, and he’ll be doing so in a rental aircraft as his new plane for a 2017 championship challenge continues to be built in the USA.

The 2016 season finished in bittersweet manner for Hall and his team. Following a second place finish in the world championship standings, the result was dampened by the determination that damage to the wing of his successful MXS-R aircraft would force it into temporary retirement from the Red Bull Air Race.

With 2017 on the horizon Hall placed an order for a new aircraft and will switch to the Zivko Edge 540 for the upcoming year, an aircraft responsible for winning the past two world titles at the hands of the now retired Paul Bonhomme and reigning champ Matthias Dolderer of Germany.

Check out our ride for Abu Dhabi below!

However a shorter than normal off-season means that the new race plane will not be ready in time for this week’s event. Instead, Hall is flying a rented an Edge 540, which was last raced by Hungarian pilot Peter Besenyei in 2008.

Despite commencing the season with an unfamiliar aircraft, Hall has resolved to fly the Abu Dhabi track as smoothly as possible in order to put himself in a position to grab a good result, should the opportunity arise.

“Our objective this race is to be clean through the race track,” Hall said.

“This isn’t our aircraft, so success this race will be measured by how well we execute our processes and the quality of our teamwork.

“If a good result comes our way, that will be a bonus.”

The season opening Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi commences with qualifying on Friday February 10, with the race action getting underway on Saturday February 11.

You can watch the race LIVE at www.redbullairrace.com, schedule details below:

The schedule

Friday 10 February: qualifying day 

12:00 Challenger Class free practice

14:00 Master Class free practice

15:10 Challenger Class qualifying

16:05 Master Class qualifying

Saturday 11 February: race day 

13:00 Challenger Cup

14:05 Master Class Round of 14

15:20 Challenger Class prizegiving ceremony

16:05 Master Class Round of 8

16:35 Master Class Final 4

17:30 Master Class prizegiving ceremony

(all times local, Abu Dhabi -7 hours AEDT)