IT’S probably the closest to a home race for Australian Matt Hall when he races over Putrajaya in May.
Putrajaya will be host to Round 3 of the Red Bull Air Race from May 17-18.
“I love Malaysia,” said the 42-year-old, a former top gun pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
“During my 18-year military career I was deployed to Malaysia a number of times and always found the people very friendly and hospitable. In recent years, I have also been training a group of pilots in Ipoh, Perak for aerobatic competition so I’d like to think it’s almost a home race for me,” said Hall.
The sole representative from the land Down Under in this year’s Red Bull Air Race, Hall has already showed the world he is a title contender to be king of the world’s fastest race.
Born in New South Wales, Hall, a father of three, set new standard for the Red Bull Air Race in his first season (2009) by taking third place overall and becoming the first rookie to win a spot on the podium with his stunning third place in Porto.
He followed up that remarkable rookie season with two podiums in 2010, including a second place finish in his home race in front of huge crowds in Perth.
In Round 1, this season, which was held in Abu Dhabi, UEA on Feb 28-March 1, Hall struck an air-filled pylon on the second of two laps and resulted in a did not finish in the final race in.
“My target isn’t that much different to what it has been previously. I want to fly safely and smoothly and I am confident if I do that then the results will be good and I will be happy.”
“I don’t really set defined goals for a particular placing – we all want to win, that’s a given, but I tend to focus more on the process and let the result be what it may,” said Hall who is a third generation aviator and whose grandfather flew in World War II.