RBAR CHIBA: HALL LOOKING TO REIGNITE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CAMPAIGN
CHIBA, JAPAN: Australian top gun Matt Hall will look to reignite his world championships campaign when official training gets underway in the third round of the Red Bull Air Race in Chiba, Japan tomorrow.
Hall, who finished the year as a close runner-up to Britain’s now retired Paul Bonhomme in 2015, has had a lacklustre start to the season and is currently sitting mid field in the overall standings at the quarter way mark.
After winning qualifying in the season opener in Abu Dhabi, the retired RAAF Wing Commander made an uncharacteristic error to tumble to ninth on race day, before a back injury severely hampered his performance as he battled to fifth in round two in Spielberg in April.
Now, with his health back on track, Hall is looking to go one better than last season’s second placed finish behind Bonhomme at the same venue over Tokyo Bay where the 14 elite pilots will reach speeds of almost 370 km/h as they navigate through the 25 metre pylons, sometimes under the strain of 12 G’s.
“I haven’t had the start I had hoped for this season but the good thing is we have been able isolate each performance and we know we still have the ability to do well,” Hall said.
“I put my hand up for the mistake in Abu Dhabi and just to get to fly was an accomplishment in Spielberg, the way my back was feeling. Now things are looking much better.
“I had a good result here in Japan last year, finishing less than half a second behind Paul and I really enjoy this race.
“For us, it’s not quite a home race because it’s still almost ten hours to get here, but it’s our closest race to Australia and we don’t have to deal with the jetlag factor we have for every other round. I’m looking forward to getting in the track.”
The field will take to the skies in training on Friday and qualifying on Saturday, with the race proper set down for Sunday. All of Sunday’s action can be seen live viawww.redbullairrace.com/live.