RBAR Indy: Hall on the attack for Red Bull Air Race title
For the second year in succession, Australia’s only ever Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall will enter the American-leg of the world’s fastest motorsport series sitting in second place in his quest for a maiden title.
Last year Hall fell just short of chasing down British great Paul Bonhomme’s championship lead, despite winning the last round of the season in Las Vegas and this year the task appears even greater with German Matthias Dolderer holding a commanding lead with just two of the eight races remaining.
Dolderer has had by far the best season of his career, winning twice and grabbing three second placed finishes to set up a handy 16.5 point lead over Hall but it is the former RAAF fighter pilot from Newcastle who has all the momentum ahead of this week’s race in the sky above the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Australian is in the form of his life, having stormed to victory in the last two events in Ascot in the UK and Lausitzring in Germany and he now believes his consistent good form in the back half of the season will amount to plenty of pressure in Dolderer’s cockpit.
“It’s Matthias’ title to lose now,” Hall said.
“I am just going to keep doing what I have been doing and if I can continue to be consistent in all my flights I am confident I can do well. I think this track suits us and as a team we are confident we are in a good place.
“I never really focus on results, preferring to take care of the process to put in a good performance, but I am here to win. Matthias will know that.”
Title experience to keep Hall in good stead
Hall said his experience from the 2015 season where he took the title race to the now retired Bonhomme – the most successful pilot in the sport’s history – right up until the final hour of the season, would hold him in good stead for the remaining events in Indianapolis and Las Vegas.
“I was in a similar positon last year so I’ve been here before,” Hall said.
“Matthias never has, so it’s up to him to perform and if he doesn’t I’ll try and make sure I capitalise.
“Last year I had to win the final race to have any hope of winning the title and I was able to do that. Unfortunately, Paul (Bonhomme) used all of his experience and did enough to get the championship win. He was amazing in that regard and under that pressure.
“Now the pressure is on someone else and to me that’s a good position to be in.”
The 14 elite pilots will get their first time in the track on Friday (local time / Saturday morning AEST) with qualifying set down for Saturday and the race on Sunday.