RBAR ASCOT: HALL RESURRECTS AIR RACE SEASON WITH STUNNING WIN
The result resurrects what was looking like a tough season for the former RAAF fighter pilot and Hall’s 15 points from today’s win push him from seventh to third in the overall standings.
German Matthias Dolderer was second and maintains his big lead at the top of the world championships ladder with 53.25 points, well ahead of today’s third placegetter Hannes Arch (35 points) and Hall (33.75).
Hall began the day by defeating former world champion Arch in the head to head round of 14. Hall’s time of 1:04.771 was the fourth fastest of the round and by far his fastest of the week. Arch was a lucky loser and progressed to the round of 8 after two pilots above him were disqualified for a technical breach.
In the round of 8 Hall showed the consistency that he had hoped for in Ascot by clocking a 1:04.728 to comfortably defeat France’s Nicolas Ivanoff and set up his final 4 position.
Then, flying first in the final 4, Hall slashed well over a second from his earlier times with a sizzling 1:03.426 – enough for a 1.461 second win – the third of his career and first of this season.
The Australian placed second at Ascot in 2015 before going on to win two of the season’s final three races and finish the year second in the world championship standings.
This year, after a slow start due to injury and an uncharacteristic mistake in the season opener, the former RAAF fighter pilot came to Ascot with confidence rising following his third placed effort in round four in Budapest last month.
“That was awesome, so much fun, what a great weekend,” Hall said.
“I came here after the podium in Budapest at the last race saying there’s no reason we couldn’t try and win each race, there’s no reason you can’t and we have got that one.
“It’d hard to win one of these races but you have to try. The secret though was not trying too hard and instead focussing on being smooth, being consistent and not getting any penalties, any pylon hits and we achieved that goal too.”
The final three rounds of the season are in Lausitzring (Germany) early next month before stops in Indianapolis and Las Vegas in October and while Dolderer is the runaway standings leader Hall said he would continue to try and put pressure on his German rival.
“There’s no pressure on me, I’m a long way off Matthias and he keeps accumulating points,” Hall said.
“I can’t stop him doing that, all I can do is the best I can and hopefully accumulate more than him and the other guys. It’s going to be fun.”