RBAR Indy: Title slips from Hall despite gutsy 4th
Matt Hall has finished fourth in the seventh round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in the USA.
Hall’s result and an empathic victory at the famed ‘Brickyard’ for German Matthias Dolderer extinguished any chance the Australian had of winning a maiden world title as Dolderer cemented the first title of his career with one race remaining in the season.
In hospital on an intravenous drip to combat a gastro virus before and after the race, Hall’s gutsy title bid ran out of energy – both literally and physically – in the final 4 round when he clipped a pylon at the second gate and incurred a three second penalty that gave him little hope of a podium finish.
Flying immediately after the former RAAF fighter pilot, Dolderer then only had to fly cleanly to score a famous race victory and become the first pilot to ever claim the Red Bull Air Race crown with a race to spare.
The German clocked 1:03.355 to outshine Great Britain’s soon to be retired former world champion Nigel Lamb (1:04.326) and Canada’s Pete McLeod (1:05.398). Hall’s time was 1:06.623 which would have been good enough for second had he not been penalized for meeting with the pylon.
The seven championship points Hall earnt for fourth has ensured he will finish the season as the runner-up for the second year in succession.
Disappointed but looking ahead
A disappointed Hall said he had given his title run everything he had after a slow start to the year that was caused by injury, some uncharacteristic errors and now, illness.
“This year just hasn’t been my year with a few things and I guess today was another sign of that,” Hall said.
“We gave it our all and as a team, we are going well. We have a fast plane and I know what is needed to perform well but I need to start looking after my body and get healthy again.
“We have one more race left in the season in Las Vegas and I am going to take a break with the family next week so hopefully I’ll arrive there a lot fresher and ready to go.
“We want to finish the year on a high note so we will have a quick break and focus on that.”
Hall began the day by dispatching Slovenian rookie Peter Podlunsek in the man-on-man round of 14, with the second quickest time of the round. He was third quickest in the round of 8 when he defeated Czech star Martin Sonka before the pylon hit in the last round.
The final round of the series will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 15 and 16.