Pete McLeod Racing 

McLeod Moves Up in Red Bull Air Race Standings with 4th in Budapest
Sunday, 05 July 2015 18:32


BUDAPEST, Hungary – Team Garmin’s Pete McLeod moved up two notches to fifth place overall in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship standings with a solid fourth place finish in Budapest on Sunday, but the Canadian ace was disappointed at the same time about just missing out on his second podium of the season on the most famous race track in the world’s fastest motorsport series.

McLeod climbed from seventh to fifth place overall with 15 championship points from seventh place at the midway point of the eight-race season after making it through the Round of 14 and Round of 8 with some brilliant flying at speeds of up to 370 km/h on the high-speed, low-altitude race track set up just meters above the Danube River in the heart of Budapest.

The Canadian, who got five points for fourth place, was getting better each time out in the track despite scorching temperatures above 33 degrees and was hoping to snatch his second career victory, after winning in Las Vegas last year. But his time (1:01.113) was bafflingly slow in the Final Four, about two seconds slower than what he thought he could have flown and just behind Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic (1:00.658), who took third.

“Overall it was a good race and we made some good progress going on the track and off it as well,” he said, referring to gradually improving engine performance that has plagued him this season. “I’m a bit dumbfounded right now as to where I lost the time in the final. We’re going to look at the data and the lines I was flying to try to figure it out.”

McLeod added: “We know that on this track because it’s so fast that it could be something as little as a really small mistake that can set you back. I was about 2 seconds off the pace of what I could have flown. I’m just not sure where that was from. Maybe it was an accumulation of some small mistakes. Maybe the engine setting on my part. We’ll have to see. I was pretty surprised with my time in the track and not in a good way.”

Austria’s Hannes Arch won the race in the heart of Budapest, overcoming a ferocious challenge from championship leader Paul Bonhomme to pull off a stylish victory. With his second straight victory, Arch moved into second place overall.

Bonhomme, who still has the overall lead with 34 points, was a close second, just 0.207 of a second behind Arch's winning time of 59.350 seconds on the breathtaking track set up on the Danube River in front of the Hungarian parliament building. The world’s 14 best pilots were flying at speeds of up to 370 km/h just meters above the surface of Danube River in front of thousands of spectators. It was the sixth time the Red Bull Air Race was staged in Budapest, one of the most spectacular locations where the pilots enter the track by flying beneath the city’s iconic Chain Bridge.

Arch, who struggled in the pre-race timed training sessions and was only third in Qualifying on Saturday, was unstoppable through the first two elimination rounds, comfortably advancing through the Round of 14 and the Round of 8. But he was pushed to the limits in the riveting Final Four by Bonhomme, Sonka and McLeod. Even as temperatures soared, Arch calmly held on to deliver his best performance of the week.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship moves to its next stop in Ascot (UK) on August 15-16, where McLeod will be looking to keep his momentum rolling and look forward to his second podium of 2015.
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.”


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Watch it Live
Great Britain.
2015 - 08 - 16
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 32
2 Hannes Arch
3 Matt Hall 29
4 Martin Sonka
5 Pete McLeod
6 Nigel Lamb 13
7 Matthias Dolderer 12
8 Michael Goulian 8
9 Nicolas Ivanoff 6
10 Peter Besenyei 5
11 Yoshi Muroya
12 Kirby Chambliss 2
13 Juan Velarde
14 Francois Le Vot
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