RBAR CHIBA: HALL PUSHES TOO HARD IN BID FOR AIR RACE GLORY
Australian Matt Hall has finished seventh the third round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships overhead Tokyo Bay in Chiba, Japan on Sunday after taking his aircraft past the G-force limit in the round of 8.
Hall, who had thrown down a sizzling 1:05.029 – the second fastest time of the round of 14, pushed a hair too hard on the first high-G turn of his run against Kirby Chambliss and was forced by officials to retire on his round of 8 run for an over-G.
The result sees Hall remain stagnant in eighth in the overall standings on 12 points, 18 behind runaway series leader Matthias Dolderer of Germany (30). Chambliss, who finished third today is now second on 20 points with Nicolas Ivanoff third on 19.
Hometown hero Yoshi Muroya won the first race of his career, becoming the first Japanese pilot to claim a round of the world’s fastest motor sport series.
Ex-RAAF fighter pilot Hall began the day by eliminating France’s world aerobatic champion Francois Le Vot by more than six seconds in the man-on-man round of 14. That victory set up a clash with two-time former air race world champion Chambliss in the round of 8. The veteran American put the pressure on Hall with a solid 1:05.352 before the Lake Macquarie Airport based pilot made the over-G error.
Hall, who finished second in the world championship in 2015, was disappointed he wasn’t able to capitalise on the opportunity to move up the rankings after Ivanoff had withdrawn with illness prior to the round of 14, then Dolderer and fourth placed Pete McLeod also both pushed over the G-limit.
“There was certainly an opportunity to move up the rankings today and it’s disappointing to make the over-G error,” Hall said.
“It was the first race-day over-G of my career but the competition is so close now that you have to be on the limit the whole time. I guess today wasn’t my day.”
Despite the disappointing finish the 44-year-old was pragmatic about his position in the standings.
“People are talking doom and gloom for our season and admittedly while we are not where we want to be, we are only eight points out of second place and still within range of Matthias,” Hall said.
“The margin now for us to catch up has gotten smaller but with five races to go anything is possible and we will show up for the next race prepared to do our best and challenge for the race win.”
The fourth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will be held over the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary on the weekend of July 16-17.