Courtesy of Red Bull Air Race Media Service Team
Australia’s only Red Bull Air Race pilot has twice been runner-up in the World Championship, and after a building year as Matt Hall Racing customized a brand-new raceplane, he is now at the top of the leaderboard with back-to-back race wins. Find out more about Matt ahead of the next stop of the season in Budapest on 23-24 June 2018.
1. Matt has been focused on flying from childhood. “When I was young, I spent all my spare time reading about aviation, hanging out at airfields and flying with my dad,” Matt says. “If I was not doing that, I was riding my motorbike or horse on the farm where we lived.”
2. He spent 18 years in the military. Matt flew F/A-18 Hornets and F-15E Strike Eagles, and he was a graduate, instructor and chief instructor of the Fighter Combat Instructor course (the Aussie “Top Gun” school). He eventually retired as a Wing Commander, the equivalent of a Lieutenant Colonel.
3. His wife is a former Wing Commander, too. Matt proposed to Pedita at Kitty Hawk in the USA, where the first flight was flown by the Wright brothers in 1903.
4. Matt is process driven and likes lists. Unlike many, he also sticks to them!
5. He shares his passion through a growing business at his home base. In 2014 Matt purchased an airfield in Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia with some friends as the foundation for the enterprise. Now he runs joy flights and charter flights, and will be moving into flight training in the not too distant future.
6. He has made the World Championship podium in 50 percent of his Air Racing seasons. Matt might still be hunting a maiden title, but he has finished in the top three in six campaigns so far. In 2009 he became the first rookie to stand on the World Championship podium (third). He was then runner-up to Great Britain’s Paul Bonhomme in 2015 and was second in 2016 to his “mate” from Germany, Matthias Dolderer. Could this be his year to take it all?
7. Hot showers – Matt loves them! Growing up, he and his family lived in a shed on the farm, which was fitted with only a bucket shower. Now, he can’t get enough of a long, hot shower.
8. In the Hall household, family fun includes brain games. Matt enjoys spending time with his son, Mitchell, solving mathematics problems. They also like to read books together and then delve into conversations about the plots and subplots.
9. When it comes to raceplanes, he’s versatile. Matt is one of just a handful of pilots to have flown both the Edge and MX aircraft in the Red Bull Air Race, and he is the only pilot to have done so in the sport’s new era that began in 2014.
10. Matt is an animal lover. There were dogs and horses on the farm where he grew up, and he also looked after cattle. Currently he has two cats and a dog, and he says that all three hate each other in equal measure!
See Matt go for a hat-trick of three race wins in a row when the Red Bull Air Race stops in Budapest on 23-24 June 2018. For information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com
Red Bull Air Race 2018 Calendar
2-3 February: Abu Dhabi, UAE
21-22 April: Cannes, France
26-27 May: Chiba, Japan
23-24 June: Budapest, Hungary
25-26 August: Kazan, Russia
15-16 September: Wiener Neustadt, Austria
6-7 October: Indianapolis, USA
About Red Bull Air Race
Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship has held more than 80 races around the globe. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370kmh while enduring forces of up to 12G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.