Pete McLeod Takes Fifth in Spielberg
The conditions at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria were anything but ordinary for the Red Bull Air Race last weekend. Blustery winds, low cloud cover and rains presented challenges to the pilots navigating their way through the Austrian countryside racetrack. Team Garmin pilot Pete McLeod was looking to make a final push for the World Championship.
The Saturday qualifying round was cancelled due to low cloud cover and rain, causing seeding to be based on the current championship standings. This pitted fifth place McLeod against tenth place pilot, and 2014 Spielberg air race winner, Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff in the opening Round of 14. After a clean run by both pilots, it was McLeod who came away with the one-second edge advancing to the round of 8.
In the Round of 8, McLeod met two-time titleholder and Red Bull Air Race veteran Kirby Chambliss. Fighting the windy course conditions once again on Sunday, the American Chambliss managed to edge out McLeod, who narrowly missed his third Final 4 of the season. The race concluded with Australia’s Matt Hall taking first place trophy, just ahead of Britain’s Paul Bonhomme at second, and Chambliss claiming third. McLeod’s fifth place Spielberg finish held him at fifth overall in the championship standings.
The Canadian McLeod now sets his sights a little closer to home for the final two races of the season – Fort Worth, Texas on September 26-27, and Las Vegas, Nevada on October 17-18. Despite being eliminated from 2015 World Championship contention, McLeod hopes to use Fort Worth and Las Vegas to build momentum for the 2016 season.
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