Red Bull Air Race 2016: 'Has Dolderer done it? No! Matt Hall takes the win!'
Australia’s Matt Hall won the sixth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship series on Sunday 4 September 2016.
He flew a blinding final round, which race leader and home-crowd favourite Matthias Dolderer (GER) couldn’t match.
It is the second win in a row for the Australian pilot, who also won in Ascot, UK, and marks his slow-and-steady climb back up the scoreboard, chipping away at Dolderer’s overall lead.
“This is a good win,” Hall said straight after his flight, “it keeps the race alive until the end of the Championship.”
Scoring 15 points for the race win narrowed the gap between Dolderer in first position and Hall in second to 16.5 points. Over two races, that could be whittled down. Dolderer’s championship win this year is not guaranteed yet.
Bad weather hampered pilots at the EuroSpeedway Lausitzring in Germany at lunchtime on Sunday, which pushed racing back by an hour. But when the racing started it was fast and pacy.
The crucial first round of 14 pilots started at 3pm local time, and was swiftly followed by the round of eight.
Four pilots went through to the final round and with Dolderer flying in front of a home crowd of around 20,000 he was without doubt the favourite.
However, Dolderer was fast, but he didn’t quite do enough to win the day.
He won’t be down in the dumps though. Second place may not be what the home crowd wanted, but the points earned put Dolderer in a good position to win the overall Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2016.
“I’m super happy with second place here,” Dolderer said after his flight. “Consistency is really important, and we’ve shown that today. We’re still in the game.”
There are two races left to go in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship series, with points adding up to crown the overall champion at the end of the season in Las Vegas.
After six races, Dolderer now has a total of 65.25 points, while Hall has 48.75.
After a bad day on Sunday and now in third place overall, Hannes Arch (AUT) is on 41 points – he will be fighting hard to move up into second place over the next two races.
Outside of the main racing action, in the Challenger Class the crowd was ecstatic as Florian Bergér (GER), 27, flew to victory in the Challenger Class.
Flying in front of a home crowd of thousands, it was the second win in the Challenger Class this season for the young German pilot.
"I’m so happy" he said afterwards. “To win in Germany, in a home race, it’s hard to describe – really nice.”
The Challenger Cup is designed to help the next generation of pilots build their flying skills before moving into the main racing class.
The next round of the Red Bull Air Race is in Indianapolis, USA, 1-2 October 2016.