RBAR Indy: Hall qualifies second at The Brickyard

 

On a day marred by rain and subsequent delays, Australian Matt Hall has qualified second for Sunday’s Red Bull Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Hall posted a time of 1:02.255 in the second of the two qualification runs through the track above part of the famous ‘Brickyard’ circuit to finish just 0.182 seconds behind the quickest man on the day, Japan’s Yoshi Muroya.

 

The former RAAF fighter pilot also posted the fourth fastest time of the qualifying session with his first run of 1:03.953.

 

It was a handy confidence booster for Hall after he elected not to take part in Friday’s second training session before spending time that afternoon and again on Saturday morning on an intravenous drip as he battled a gastro virus.

 

In the man-on-man round of 14, Hall will take on Slovenian rookie Peter Podlunsek who finished qualifying in 13th. The winner of that matchup and the other seven heats will progress through to the round of 8 alongside the fastest heat runner-up.

 

In an ominous sign for his rivals, Hall, who has won the series’ last two races, believes he has room for improvement in Sunday’s racing.

 

“I am really pleased that I was able to get the job done well today,” Hall said.

 

“Obviously I haven’t been feeling too well and to post two of the four fastest times in qualifying is the sort of consistency that I’m aiming for.

 

“The good thing is I know there are some areas I can improve too. That’s always a nice feeling going into race day.”

 

Earlier on Saturday, Hall clocked the seventh fastest time in the event’s third and final training session.

 

Hall is the only pilot in the elite 14-team field that can catch runaway world championships standings leader Matthias Dolderer with two of the year’s eight races remaining.

 

The German leads the title race by 16.5 points from Hall, and with 15 points on offer for a race win, the Australian must beat his main rival in Indianapolis to remain in contention for the overall season crown.

 

The main event begins on Sunday at 1pm local (4am AEST on Monday).

Pic: Red Bull Content Pool / Joerg Mitter