One of the most tenacious and focused competitors in the Red Bull Air Race, Australia’s Matt Hall has claimed the second step of the World Championship podium three times in the past four seasons.
After coming within three-tenths of a second of clinching the crown in 2018, Matt Hall Racing is pushing harder than ever to remain among the top contenders and close the gap to break through for a maiden title.
Hall is a third-generation pilot and his country’s foremost aviator. He flew solo in a glider at age 15, got his pilot’s licence at 18, and has flown more than 6,000 hours in various aircraft. A decorated former Wing Commander in the Royal Australian Air Force, he was named Fighter Pilot of the Year in 1997 and became a Fighter Combat (Top Gun) Instructor.
Australia's only Red Bull Air Race pilot also competed on the international level in aerobatics, winning the Australian Advanced Aerobatic Championship, then finishing first in Freestyle and second overall in the Unlimited category. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots honored him with the 2015 Australian Bi-Centennial Award for his outstanding contribution to aviation.
In 2009, his debut season in the World Championship, Hall became the first rookie ever to stand on a race podium and also the first to claim an overall podium (third). In 2015, he earned his first two race wins and was second in the World Championship, missing the title by just five points. In 2016 Hall clinched his second-place spot on the overall podium even before the season finale, but Matt Hall Racing discovered an issue with their MXS-R raceplane and decided to source another aircraft, the Edge 540 V3. As a result, 2017 became a building year, but in the final three races of the season they captured two podiums, two pole positions and the DHL Fastest Lap Award to finish sixth overall.
Matt Hall Racing was back, and they proved it with a stellar 2018 campaign that saw five podiums in eight races, including back-to-back wins at Cannes, France and Chiba, Japan. The pilot carried the World Championship fight to the last round of the season finale, but for the third time in his career finished second, even with his highest career points total. The setback has only proved a motivator for the Aussie pilot.
“We started 2018 with only one goal in mind, to win the world title. I’m proud that we did everything possible to do that, even if we fell short,” Hall said. “We’re in a position to aim for the same goal in 2019, we have the team and the plane to make it happen, and now we need to go out and chase the dream.”