Matt Hall To Give It A Go During Australia Red Bull Air Race <


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Matt Hall To Give It A Go During Australia Red Bull Air Race

Daniel Baxter

April 12, 2010 - Australia’s Matt Hall has been itching to fly in a Red Bull Air Race in front of enthusiastic fans in his home country for years and the former RAAF fighter pilot can hardly wait for the world championship race in Perth, Western Australia on April 17/18. Hall’s team has worked hard to correct an electrical failure in the season opener last month in Abu Dhabi that left him in a disappointing eighth place. 

“I lived in Perth for 2-1/2 years when doing my training in the military so Perth does hold a soft spot in my heart as it’s where my flying career began,” said Hall, who is from Merewether NSW. “When I fly in Perth now I often think back to when I was training and think that if I had an insight as to where I would go and what I would be doing over my flying career, I would not believe it. I’m very much looking forward to flying in a race in Australia – and especially Perth.” 

The second-year ace said he was looking forward to putting his season back on the right track in Perth, the second stop on the eight-race calendar. Hall, who was a Royal Australian Air Force officer and spectator at the last race there in 2008, had posted the second fastest net time in the Top 12 round in Abu Dhabi before being forced to retire in the Super 8 round due to electrical problems. It was a bitterly premature ouster for Hall, who was flying well in difficult conditions and poised to grab the second podium of his career. 

“I have to admit I’m disappointed in the result but optimistic for the year,” said Hall, who was the most successful rookie in the six-year history of the Red Bull Air Race last year with third place overall. “If you look at the improved times we did all week in Abu Dhabi, working our way up from seventh in training one to the second fastest time on a number of occasions, we actually kept it together pretty well. I honestly believe a podium was within easy reach had we kept the plane in the air.” 

Hall, an incurable optimist, is confident the battery issue is history. It was the first race that Hall had flown the new MXS-R. “We’re running so much equipment in the aircraft that our battery just couldn’t keep up. Basically, we were unable to get our engine to crank over due to a lack of power to the starter. This seems to be a combination of a number of factors, one of which was our battery being out of power. We’ve dug down deep to find out what caused the battery to be flat, why we could not start with external power and how to avoid it in the future. And we’re set up to have everything back on track for Perth.” 


In Perth, Hall will be flying with a new engine and his team has worked hard to eliminate the gremlins that caused so much anguish. “We can’t afford to get knocked out of the championship due to things like a flat battery,” said Hall, who got to Perth last week and has been taking extensive test flights across southwest Australia. “We got the plane airborne with the new engine and it’s running smoothly.” 

The race in Perth marks the fourth time the sun-drenched city in Western Australia has hosted a race after exciting season-ending battles in 2006, 2007 and 2008.  “This is the fourth time the race has been here,” said Hall. “But it’s the first time with an Australian pilot and after having been over a year between races here I hope there will be an overwhelming thirst in Australia to watch the sport, see how much it has grown, and cheer me on. I’m hoping there will be record-breaking crowds in Perth.” 

The last remaining tickets are still available for Grandstand seating and Hospitality areas located at Sir James Mitchell Park on the South Perth foreshore. Visit the Tickets & Hospitality section at or for further information and bookings.

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