Pete McLeod Racing 

McLeod Grabs Podium in Abu Dhabi Despite Engine Concerns
Sunday, 15 February 2015 16:52


ABU DHABI - Canada's Pete McLeod pulled a rabbit out of his hat at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season opener in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, grabbing a remarkable third place for his Garmin Racing team in the high-speed, low-altitude battle after struggling all week and through Qualifying with an under performing engine. 

McLeod, who got the first victory of his career in Las Vegas last year, put in a series of clutch performances under pressure in the new knock-out race format to advance to the Final Four after winning his first two one-on-one duels against Spain's Juan Velarde and then Japan's Yoshi Muroya.

"It was a great day for Garmin Racing and for me - and hopefully this is the first of many podiums to come," said McLeod, who got off to a flying start towards his goal of becoming the youngest world champion in the sport's history at the age of 31 in this year's eight-race championship. "It was a pretty hard-earned result. I was struggling (with the under-power) engine through a lot of the week in training and so I'm thrilled to get on the podium. It's a great way to enjoy the season."

McLeod, who was fifth overall in 2014, said he is hoping to learn from what worked and didn't work last year when he was the fastest qualifier in five of the eight races but only won the one race in Las Vegas. "I looked at last season closely and what I could learn from it," he said. "I'd like to be the fastest guy out there. That's eating me at me a little bit. I want to have that hammer that I can lay down and put the pressure on the others. You need that hammer if you want to make a serious run for the championship."

Britain’s Paul Bonhomme won the first stop of the world's fastest motorsport series on Saturday in Abu Dhabi with a time of 57.787 with Australia's Matt Hall taking second in 57.871 seconds in the race while McLeod took third with a time of 58.843 seconds in the race. In the 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 flying just above the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi, with its knowledgeable and enthusiastic motorsport fans, hosted the Red Bull Race World Championship season opener for an eighth straight time. There were 14 pilots from 11 nations battling for championship points in the race in which pilots navigate a low-level slalom track made up of 25-meter high air-filled pylons at high speeds while enduring forces of up to 10G. Many of Abu Dhabi's high-society spectators watched the action in style at the Sky Lounge and Race Club, the official and exclusive hospitality programs. The next race will be in Chiba, Japan on May 16/17.

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

World Championship Standings: 1. Bonhomme (12 points), 2. Hall (9), 3. McLeod (7), 4. Arch (5), 5. Lamb (4), 6. Muroya (3), 7. Besenyei (2), 8. Ivanoff (1), 9. Dolderer, 10. Sonka, 11. Le Vot, 12. Goulian, 13. Velarde, 14. Chambliss
McLeod Looking Strong Despite Penalty in Abu Dhabi Qualifying
Friday, 13 February 2015 16:38


Canada’s Pete McLeod was having a great run in Qualifying at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season opener in Abu Dhabi on Friday but got hit with a 2-second penalty -- for an incorrect gate passing -- near the end of his run that dropped him from third place to sixth.

McLeod will thus face Spain’s Juan Velarde, who finished ninth in Qualifying, in Saturday’s first knock out Round of 14 in the opening race of the 2015 season. McLeod, who won last year’s Qualifying here in Abu Dhabi and finished third in the 2014 race, has nevertheless recovered some of the speed in his flying after worrying earlier in the week that his engine was underperforming.

“Today there was actually some light at the end of the tunnel,” said McLeod, who had posted a strong time in training earlier on Friday after making some adjustments to his engine that seemed to improve its performance. “We made some little changes and tried some new lines. We made some progress there.”

McLeod said he was looking forward to flying against Velarde, a new Master pilot who finished unexpectedly well in his debut race while many of the top veterans – such as defending champion Nigel Lamb (14) and Hannes Arch (10) struggled on the track after the winds changed.

“With the brackets the way they are, flying against Juan in the first round is a pretty good draw,” said McLeod. “That middle bracket is a less aggressive path to the Final 4. It’s going to be entertaining. A few of the top guys will be racing against each other in the first round.”

McLeod said that he believes that his engine is getting faster in time for the race: “I think I’ve gotten over my frustration. I was pretty worked up the last four days and not being very happy with what I was able to get out of the airplane. I’ve got a new motor and hopefully it’s starting to break in. It’s motorsport and hard to fly well if you don’t have a good engine.”

Britain’s Paul Bonhomme won pole position for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season opener in Abu Dhabi by posting the fastest time in Qualifying on Friday on the breathtaking turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf.

The UAE capital of Abu Dhabi will host the Red Bull Race World Championship season opener for an eighth time on Saturday when 14 of the world’s top pilots will be battling for points. The Qualifying results produced a number of surprising results.
McLeod Searching for More Engine Power Ahead of Abu Dhabi Race
Thursday, 12 February 2015 14:29

ABU DHABI – Pete McLeod and his Garmin Racing team were searching for more engine power in training on Thursday ahead of Friday’s Qualifying for the 2015 Red Bull World Championship season opener in Abu Dhabi after the Canadian ace struggled in an unaccustomed position back in the middle of the pack. McLeod, who won Qualifying here a year ago, said he was frustrated with his engine’s performance after he only managed to post the seventh fastest time in the final training run on Thursday.

“We have a major concern about our engine – it’s just not putting out the power,” said McLeod, who took third in Abu Dhabi last year and got his first career victory in Las Vegas later in the season. “We’re hoping the engine maybe just isn’t broken in yet. It’s terrible. We just don’t seem to have the power. We’re looking at every angle. It all keeps pointing back to the engine.”

McLeod said his Garmin Racing team will continue working hard to get the standardized engine performing better while he said he will try to stay focused on what he can do well – flying through the high-speed, low-altitude track as cleanly as possible.

“I’m flying pretty well and am just going to try to concentrate on the strategy of flying well and the other things on the airplane that we can improve,” he said. “I hope we can find a solution. I like this track even though it’s not very difficult. It’s got a lot of room. The wind is blowing out there and there are some corners that let you play with the winds properly. Everything’s going well, except we’re not happy with the motor.”

The Red Bull Air Race, in which the world’s top 14 pilots navigate a low-level slalom track made up of 25-meter high air-filled pylons at speeds of up to 370 km/h, is the official World Championship of air racing recognized by the FAI - Federation Aeronautique Internationale. The eight-race 2015 world championship kicks off on Saturday.
Abu Dhabi 2015 Broadcast Schedule
Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:13

Qualifying Day – Friday February 13, 2015

Eastern Standard Time: 7:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Central Standard Time: 6:00 - 7:30 a.m.

* Note: Currently only available on

Race Day – Saturday February 14, 2015 

Eastern Standard Time: 5:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Central Standard Time: 4:00 - 7:30 a.m.

* Note: Red Bull TV  broadcast begins 2 hours later


A LIVE VIDEO STREAM will be available on race day on both qualifying and race day all season, starting with Round 1 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 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 Abu Dhabi, UAE 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 until March 2, 7:30 PST.

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.

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Watch it Live
2015 - 05 - 16 
FEB 13-14
Abu Dhabi - U.A.E.
MAY 16-17
Chiba, Japan
MAY 30-31
Sochi, Russia*
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 12
2 Matt Hall 9
3 Pete McLeod
4 Hannes Arch
5 Nigel Lamb 4
6 Yoshi Muroya
7 Peter Besenyei 2
8 Nicolas Ivanoff 1
9 Matthias Dolderer 0
10 Martin Sonka
11 Francois Le Vot
12 Michael Goulian 0
13 Juan Velarde
14 Kirby Chambliss 0
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