Red Bull Air Race deals a cruel blow to Hall, steep learning curve continues
Luck was not on the side of Matt Hall at the second event of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in San Diego, California with the Australian pilot finishing ninth, despite posting the sixth fastest time in the opening round.
Hall came into race day as the fourth fastest qualifier, putting him in a head-to-head knockout against Peter Podlunšek of Slovenia in the opening Round of 14. Podlunšek was the first to fly, and put in a very quick 58.929 that withstood a review from race control. Unfortunately for Hall a time of 59.672 wasn’t good enough.
Hoping to come away the fastest loser and gain entry into the second stage, the Round of 8, Hall was in a strong position until championship leader Martin Šonka produced a lap 0.193 seconds quicker, snatching away Hall’s hopes of progressing further in the competition.
While the result wasn’t what the Aussie had hoped for, he took solace in the fact that he was in the top half of the field based on times, as he continues to develop a brand new aircraft.
“We still have a lot of work to do to bring this new plane up to the standard of our old one, but even so we are already within half a second of the guys posting the fastest times,” Hall said.
“We can make that half second back with some more aggressive flying and further development on the aircraft. It will take time and we are still focusing on making this aircraft good enough that it can win races by the end of the season.”
“Perhaps we need a little more luck too!”
Japan’s Yoshi Muroya won the event, with Podlunšek making it all the way to the second step of the podium, while world champion Matthias Dolderer finished third.
The Red Bull Air Race will next take place on June 3-4 for one of the most popular events on the calendar in Chiba, Japan.