RBAR LAUSITZ: HALL TO CHASE THIRD CONSECUTIVE PODIUM
After revitalising his Red Bull Air Race season with two podiums in a row, including a gutsy win at Ascot just three weeks ago, Australian pilot Matt Hall is on a roll. He’s ready to take on overall leader Matthias Dolderer in the German’s home skies at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz this weekend.
The last time Australia’s Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall flew at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, it was 2010. In only his second year of vying for the world championship, the Australian managed to claim a third-place finish behind two formidable world champions: Austria’s Hannes Arch and Britain’s Paul Bonhomme. Fast forward six years, and Hall will be back in action as the ultimate motorsport series in the sky returns to the famed German motorsport oval this weekend – and it’s a pivotal moment. Germany’s own Dolderer holds a significant lead in the overall standings, and Hall is one of only a handful of pilots with a chance to overtake him.
“Lausitz is an opportunity to catch up,” Hall, who finished the 2015 season in a career-high second overall, yet had to fight his way back to his current third-place spot after neck and back issues couple with some uncharacteristic early-season mistakes dropped him in the standings, said.
“I can get enough points where we currently stand, though it is also going to come down to what Matthias does over the next three races.”
After earning third at July’s stop in Budapest and delivering a win in the pressure-cooker of an August race at Ascot, where every pilot brought his best game, Hall now has to make up nearly 20 points that separate him from Dolderer (while he needs only a slim 1.25 points to overtake Arch in second place).
Teams have dramatically turned around their season before, but if Matt Hall Racing is going to seize the world championship, they can’t wait for Dolderer to falter. It’s essential that they add to their points tally in Germany.
“I’m sure that Matthias is feeling the pressure, so in a psychological sense it’s not a bad position to be in; I’d rather be a little bit closer in the championship, obviously, but to be chasing after a win in the previous round is a good place to be,” Hall states.
“I’ve had a good look at the track on paper, and it seems that it’s going to be quite a tight, hard-turning track, lots of gates and lots of turning and manoeuvering the aircraft. I’m happy that I’ve got a pretty good line in my head that I’m going to go out and work on in Free Practice 1. I’m looking forward to it.”
In the Red Bull Air Race, which is the official world championship of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world’s top pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. It’s the ultimate motorsport series in the sky.
Feel the speed! The action kicks off at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz with Qualifying on Saturday, 3 September, followed by Race Day on Sunday, 4 September 2016.
All of Saturday’s qualifying action can be viewed online via www.redbullairrace.com/live from midnight with Sunday’s racing online from 10pm (Round of 14) and midnight (Round of 8 and Final 4).