Pete McLeod Racing 

McLeod on Ascending Form Going into Budapest Red Bull Air Race
Saturday, 04 July 2015 18:49


BUDAPEST, Hungary – Canada's Pete McLeod continued to show ascending form at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, grabbing a solid fourth place in Qualifying on Saturday after struggling in several of the pre-race training sessions in the sweltering heat in Budapest. McLeod, who was just a fraction of a second behind Qualifying winner Matt Hall (AUS), will also have a clear shot to advance from the Round of 14 to the Round of 8 thanks to another lucky draw -- he will race in Sunday's opening round against rookie Francois Le Vot of France.

Hall took top honours and will be the man to beat in Sunday's race, the fourth of eight stops in the world's fastest motorsport series. The high-speed, low-altitude race track set up in the heart of Budapest over the Danube River is one of the most spectacular.

McLeod could do no better than 11th in the 14-pilot field in the timed training session earlier on Saturday after taking seventh on Friday afternoon. McLeod did manage to get as high as third in the first training session on Thursday but was pleased to come up with the goods in the pressure-packed Qualifying.

"We've got our aircraft to run pretty cool and it was the best run of the week for me," said McLeod. "It's good to do it when it counts -- but everyone is so close in the timings. I want a penalty-free run tomorrow."

Winning Qualifying for the first time in his career, Hall proved to be a master of the heat on therack set up in the heart of the Hungarian capital with its one-of-a-kind start beneath the iconic Chain Bridge and stopped the clock in 58.323 seconds. McLeod's time was 59.480.

Yoshihide Muroya of Japan took second in the action where pilots hit speeds of up to 370 km/h while Hannes Arch of Austria, who won the last race in Rovinj, bounced back from dismal training results to take third.

Accustomed to flying in the heat at home in Australia, Hall seemed to thrive on the high temperatures in Hungary that soared above 35 degrees as tens of thousands of spectators filled the streets of Budapest while withstanding the unusual heat wave to watch the Qualifying action. The Australian also won posted the fastest time in all three training sessions before Qualifying and will be looking for a first career win on Sunday.

“It’s special,” said Hall when asked how it felt to get his first Qualifying win. “It’s been a good week so far, and one more day to go. Hopefully we can keep doing what we’ve been doing. The airplane is starting to fit like a glove. We put the new winglets on at the start of the year and I’m really starting to ring it out in the turns. I’m really flying tight turns out there and there’s where I think I’m saving so much time.”

Hungary's Peter Besenyei, the 2003 champion, took 10th place in Qualifying as thousands of fans cheered him in his new Edge 540 V3 airplane from the banks of the majestic Danube River.

What makes the race in Budapest especially exciting for spectators is that the planes are flying just above the waters in the Danube river bed and crowds can see the planes flying by at high speeds below or at the same level. Unlike in past seasons when there were only two or three pilots challenging for race victories and the championship, the entire field this year is wide open with 10 of the 14 pilots flying fast enough at times to win the race.

In the Red Bull Air Race, which is the official world championship of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world's top pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate as precisely as possible through a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter high air-filled pylons.

Qualifying Results: 1. Matt Hall (AUS) 58.323, 2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN) 59.011, 3. Hannes Arch (AUT) 59.328, 4. Pete McLeod (CAN) 59.480, 5. Kirby Chambliss (USA) 59.496, 6. Nigel Lamb (GBR) 59.553, 7. Martin Sonka (CZE) 59.756, 8. Paul Bonhomme (GBR) 59.812, 9. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA) 1:00.151, 10. Peter Besenyei (HUN) 1:00.862, 11. Francois Le Vot (FRA) 1:02.364, 12. Juan Velarde (Spain) 1:03.839, 13. Matthias Dolderer (GER) 1:03.974, 14. Michael Goulian (USA) 1:04.403
Budapest, Hungary 2015 Broadcast Schedule
Friday, 03 July 2015 17:41

Qualifying Day – Saturday July 4, 2015

Eastern Standard Time: 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

Central Standard Time: 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

* Note: Currently only available on

Race Day – Sunday July 5, 2015 

Eastern Standard Time: 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Central Standard Time: 8:00 - 10:30 a.m.


A LIVE VIDEO STREAM will be available on race day on both qualifying and race day from Round 4 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary. Click the ‘watch live stream’ button on right side of page below the countdown clock, and a new window will open. Rogers SportsNet and TVA will air the Budapest, Hungary race on tape-delay - timing to be confirmed. 

You can also watch the event on Red Bull TV via, thorugh its iOS and Android applications, and in select markets on Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Smart TV devices.  Please note that streaming availability of the event in the US region will be delayed.

Qualification and race results along with a full race recap will be posted on following the race.

Be sure to follow Pete on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
McLeod Itching To Get Back On Podium After Coming Close In Croatia
Friday, 03 July 2015 12:36


BUDAPEST, Hungary – Team Garmin’s Pete McLeod is confident he can get back on the podium at the fourth stop of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest this weekend after sorting out some problems getting the maximum power out of his engine. The Canadian ace was third in the season opener in Abu Dhabi but has been plagued by an under-performing engine and tough penalties at the wrong time.

“I’m feeling good coming to Budapest but I really don’t have the slightest idea how this race will go,” said McLeod, referring to the highly competitive field at the most spectacular race of the season on the race track set up in the heart of Budapest on the Danube River. “I really need to find myself back in the Final Four on Race Day. I should have been there at the last race in Rovinj.”

Indeed, McLeod was flying brilliantly in the Round of 8 after struggling at times in training and Qualifying. McLeod, who is seventh overall in the 14-pilot championship, seemed to be headed for the Final Four but got booked with what some thought was a harsh penalty that meant American rival Michael Goulian got to the finals.

“I thought I flew well on race day,” he said. “It was disappointing to get a penalty especially when I was so much faster than Goulian in the second lap. I flew the exact lines I wanted. That was as fast as I think I could have flown the track with my plane.”

McLeod and his team have been mystified that their engine – which is supposed to be a standardized power plant for all 14 teams – has not been as powerful on comparable parts of the track as others. The team is growing confident that engine, which they got new at the start of the season, has more power now.

“We think and hope the engine has started to break in,” he said. “It seems like the power gap between my plane and the others’ is closing a bit and that’s great. But the downside is we doubt that gap will disappear totally. That means I’ve been forced to fly very aggressive lines to have anything close to a competitive time. When you take those risks, penalties happen and they are punishing.”

McLeod is nevertheless still in the hunt for the championship of the world's fastest motorsport series in seventh place with nine points but only 16 points behind the leaders with 12 points up for grabs for winning each race.

McLeod, who was a rookie in 2009 the last time the race was held in Budapest, said he was looking forward to the chance to fly in front of the big Hungarian crowds that line the banks of the Danube River and actually look down at times into the river bed to see the planes flying below them.

“I remember flying under the bridge at the start as the highlight of the course,” said McLeod, referring to the starting gate under the Chain Bridge in central Budapest where pilots have about an 8-meter gap between the river and the bridge to fly through. “I didn’t have a very good result but it was tough in 2009 being and rookie. I fully expect a better result here in 2015.”

McLeod Finds Speed In Rovinj, Flies Well But Hurt By Penalty
Sunday, 31 May 2015 20:00


Team Garmin's Pete McLeod found the speed in the Red Bull Air Race on Sunday and the Canadian was flying a brilliant run in the third stop of the season in Rovinj, Croatia. But a late penalty in his Round of Eight race against American Michael Goulian for a tiny infraction cost him dearly and dropped him to seventh place. It was a close call for incorrect level flying through one of the last Air Gates on the windswept course set up on the Adriatic Sea.

McLeod is nevertheless still in the hunt for the championship of the world's fastest motorsport series in seventh place with nine points but only 16 points behind the leaders with 12 points up for grabs for winning each race.

“Overall I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get into the final run, but I had two great runs on race day,” said McLeod, after he lost to Goulian and got a penalty for incorrect level flying. “I flew the lines I wanted. They are aggressive lines. I’m out there flying on the limit. If you’re not on the limit you’re not fast. We’re all up on the limit. Get used to upsets throughout the season.”

After struggling in training and Qualifying this week, McLeod seemed to find his form on Sunday and upset red-hot Yoshihide Muroya of Japan in the Round of 14 with a fast time of 54.091 seconds. Muroya was second in Qualifying but was under pressure to perform after McLeod's quick time. Muroya hit a pylon in the round of 14 and the three-second penalty meant McLeod advanced instead.

The race was won by Hannes Arch of Austria, who bounced back in style after struggling in training this week and Qualifying on Saturday to win race by the closest margin ever and turn the eight-race world championship battle into a tight-three way fight at the top. Sonka got a career-best second place in the race, where pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h, on the difficult, windswept racecourse set up just off the shorelines of Rovinj.

Rovinj race results:1. Hannes Arch (AUT), 2. Martin Sonka (CZE), 3. Matt Hall (AUS), 4. Michael Goulian (USA), 5. Nigel Lamb (GBR), 6. Matthias Dolderer (GER), 7. Pete McLeod (CAN), 8. Paul Bonhomme (GBR), 9. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA), 10. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN), 11. Kirby Chambliss (USA), 12. Peter Besenyei (HUN), 13. Juan Velarde (ESP), 14. Francois Le Vot (FRA)

World Championship standings: 1. Bonhomme (25 points), 2. Hall (25), 3. Arch (17), 4. Lamb (12), 5. Dolderer (10), 6. Sonka (9), 7. McLeod (9), 8. Goulian (8), 9. Ivanoff (6), 10. Muroya (4), 11. Chambliss (2), 12. Besenyei (2), 13. Velarde (0), 14. Le Vot (0)

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Watch it Live
2015 - 07 - 05 
FEB 13-14
Abu Dhabi - U.A.E.
MAY 16-17
Chiba, Japan
MAY 30-31
Rovinj, Croatia
JULY 4-5
Budapest, Hungary
AUG 15-16
Ascot - Great Britain
SEPT 5-6
Spielberg - Austria
SEPT 26-27
Dallas/Fort Worth - USA
OCT 17-18
Las Vegas - USA

RBAR 2015 World Championship
1 Paul Bonhomme 25
2 Matt Hall 25
3 Hannes Arch
4 Nigel Lamb 12
5 Matthias Dolderer 10
6 Martin Sonka
7 Pete McLeod
8 Michael Goulian 8
9 Nicolas Ivanoff 6
10 Yoshi Muroya
11 Kirby Chambliss 2
12 Peter Besenyei 2
13 Juan Velarde
14 Francois Le Vot
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