RBAR Lausitz: Hall qualifies 2nd as he chases back to back success
Former RAAF fighter pilot Matt Hall will challenge for a second consecutive Red Bull Air Race victory on Sunday after qualifying in second place behind British veteran Nigel Lamb at the Lausitzring in Germany.
Hall won the fifth round of the world’s fastest motorsport series in the UK last month and currently sits third in the world championships standings behind German Matthias Dolderer and Austria’s former world champion Hannes Arch.
The Australian clocked a qualifier of 54.413 to trail only Lamb, the 2014 world champion, who put in by far the best run of the week, laying down the gauntlet to his rivals with a sizzling 53.110.
Hall will square off against the 13th qualifier, France’s Nicolas Ivanoff, in Sunday’s head-to-head round of 14 with the winner of that heat progressing to the round of 8 alongside the six other heat winners and the fastest runner-up.
Ivanoff won the season’s opening race in Abu Dhabi but has failed to reach the podium since then and was beaten by Hall in the round of 8 stage on the way to the Australian’s victory in Ascot.
Hall however is loathe to discount the Frenchman, known for his ability to match it with the very best on his day.
“Nicholas is a dangerous opponent and I will have to be at my very best to ensure I can move through to the round of 8,” Hall said.
“I have been very consistent this week with two first and two seconds in the training and qualifying sessions and I think that is the key tomorrow.
“If Nigel (Lamb) is in the same form tomorrow he will be very, very hard to beat but I can just focus on my flights and maintaining that solid consistency and that will put pressure on the other guys.”
Earlier, Hall clocked the quickest time in the third and final training session of the week. Flying in much windier conditions than those in the first half of the field, Hall was a feather quicker than Czech duo Petr Kopfstein and Martin Sonka.
All of Sunday’s qualifying action can be viewed via www.redbullairrace.com/live from 10pm (Round of 14) and midnight (Round of 8 and Final 4).