Windy conditions met the pilots of the Red Bull Air Race for their first practice session in the track at this year’s race in Chiba, Japan on Friday, with Australia’s Matt Hall putting together a time good enough for fourth.
Importantly for the team, Hall was one of two pilots to have a completely penalty free run throughout the session – the other was the Czech Republic’s Petr Kopfstein. In total 12 pilots incurred penalties for everything from pylon hits to insufficient smoke and there were a handful of DNFs.
While Hall’s competitors such as championship leader Michael Goulian labelled the day as a case of ‘survival’ with the wind, Hall told Red Bull Air Race media after his flight that his goal was to fly cleanly and start the weekend off on the right foot.
“It was alright out there, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it was smooth,” Hall said of his run in the track.
“Our objective was to fly cleanly and we did that with some good times and no penalties. It’s been a busy day with four flights. I’m pretty tired and my body is already a bit sore, but there’s not much experimenting on this track and everyone knows what they’re doing.
“We’ve done some minor tweaks to the plane, no modifications as such, just tidying up a bit.”
With the sun now up on Saturday, awaiting Hall and his cohorts is two practice sessions and a qualifying.
CONTENT SUPPLIED BY MATT HALL RACING