Heartbreak for Hall, but Red Bull Air Race Championship dream still glows

Australia’s Matt Hall has continued a loveless race affair with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after he was eliminated from the seventh race of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championshipdue to a poorly timed pylon hit.

For the third year running, a wide wing at the second gate cruelled Hall’s progress in Indianapolis, USA. It left the Aussie in sixth place, but still earned him five crucial world championship points. As a result, he now sits third in the standings with just one round remaining in this year’s championship, to be held at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, USA next month.

Meanwhile Hall’s closest championship rivals Mike Goulian of the USA and Martin Šonka had contrasting days. Goulian soared over home soil to claim his second win of 2018, and in the process re-claimed the championship lead. While Czech pilot Šonka had a wretched run to finish tenth and lose top spot overall.

The championship race now sees Goulian lead Šonka by five points, with Hall a further two back, making it a seven-point race to the title in Texas. With the knowledge that he is now the outsider in the battle for top spot, Hall could do little to hide his frustration after today’s race, describing his result as “disappointing.”

“I’m disappointed. To have my mistake on race day…I had clean training sessions and qualy, and then to have two penalties on race day. I need to do something about that,” Hall conceded.

“We had the ability to really capitalise today (with Šonka in tenth) and take the lead of the championship, but we’re still seven points behind and back in third place. It’s a disappointing day.”

Despite the today’s low result, Hall affirmed that his dreams of a maiden world championship remain far from over with one round still to play out.

“The next 24 hours is about getting frustration out of my system,” Hall continued.

“We know how quickly points can change. So Goulian just went from being nine points behind and out of the lead, to be leading again in one race. Things change very quickly in this game, so seven points…we can recover that. There are some big points at the top end of this game left for the last race.”

The final round of the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship will be held at the Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, USA from November 17-18. Irrespective of the final result there, the Red Bull Air Race will crown a first-time champion with only Hall, Goulian and Šonka left in the running.

Race results – Red Bull Air Race, Indianapolis 

  1. Michael Goulian (USA)
  2. Pete McLeod (CAN)
  3. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
  4. Ben Murphy (GBR)
  5. Christian Bolton (CHI)
  6. Matt Hall (AUS) 58 
  7. Juan Velarde (ESP)
  8. Kirby Chambliss (USA)
  9. Mika Brageot (FRA)
  10. Martin Šonka (CZE)
  11. Matthias Dolderer (GER)
  12. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)
  13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE)
  14. François Le Vot (FRA)

Current world championship standings

  1. Michael Goulian (USA) 70
  2. Martin Šonka (CZE) 65
  3. Matt Hall (AUS) 63
  4. Mika Brageot (FRA) 36
  5. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 34
  6. Pete McLeod (CAN) 27
  7. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 25
  8. Ben Murphy (GBR) 22
  9. François Le Vot (FRA) 21
  10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 20
  11. Juan Velarde (ESP) 20
  12. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 17
  13. Petr Kopfstein (CZE) 16
  14. Christian Bolton (CHI) 12

(PIC: Mihai Stetcu/Red Bull Content Pool)