Canada's Pete McLeod ended the 2014 season as the most talked about pilot on this year's circuit. For he youngest flyer in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Pete's season was his best to date.
Pete won more qualifying sessions than any other pilot (4), which was equivalent to winning the pole position in auto racing. He also won the Top Twelve and Super Eight sessions three times and reached the Final Four in four races. McLeod was running faster than ever. "I am extremely happy with the season, we were on the podium three times and we were always in the running."
Few people had expected McLeod to do as well as he did. The young bush pilot from Red Lake, Ontario proved to be a threat all season, consistently laying down fast track times while setting track records in a number of locations.
New rules this season, that reduced the G limit on pilots by more than 20 per cent, hampered Pete's success in a number of races. "I had the fastest times in a number of runs, but got DQ'ed because of the G limit that went from 12 to 10G". McLeod, a popular and experienced Airshow and Aerobatic competition pilot has always been known for his aggressive high G style. "I love hanging it out on the edge, pushing to the razors limit and sometimes I pushed too hard. But, in my opinion MaxPower is what it takes to win and it's how I like to fly." Pete heads home to Canada to prepare for next season. "I have some ideas that will make us even faster for 2015, combine that with more experience, and I know we have a team that can win the championship."
For past Air Race World Champion Hannes Arch, Pete's season did not go unnoticed "I don't want to lose in the future against a smart guy like Pete….that keeps pushing me", said Arch.
"That's perfect," a smiling Pete McLeod says, "because my plan, is to keep pushing, Hannes, the other racers, my plane, my body, and my team…. there is more in the tank, even if it feels like we are at MaxPower I know there is more there…."