Australian Master Class pilot Matt Hall has found form in Free Practice 3 here in Chiba today. Hall was the second pilot into the track and he looked to be getting even more comfortable in his new raceplane – he now has 12 hours flying time in it – and he put in a fantastic time of 54.823s, which was enough to see him top the timesheet.
In his first run Hall picked up a DNF for exceeding the G-limit but managed to turn it on in his second run. Close behind Hall was Matthias Dolderer, who was just 0.132s slower, and also received a DNF for the same reason.
Due to high winds at the Race Airport yesterday the pilots were unable to fly the track and Free Practice 3 was their first chance to experience the technical circuit, which has a few interesting elements to it. It proved difficult for some of the pilots as they didn't follow the correct racing line and were given a DNF for deviation from the course. Michael Goulian struggled to hit the right gates, but got it right at his third attempt.
Current championship leader Martin Sonka was third, posting a time of 55.024s. His final run would've been the quickest of the day, but he picked up a one second penalty for insufficient smoke.
Yoshihide Muroya, who is the centre of attention at this race, struggled to set a good time in the first session of the day. He pulled a Safety Climb Out in his first run and rather than risk not setting a time he went slower to familiarise himself with the track and could only post a time of 57.472s, which saw him 12th on the timesheet.
The pilots will have one more practice session before today's Qualifying, which takes place at 16:00 local time – follow the action HERE.
Master Class Free Practice 3 results