Pete McLeod Racing 

#84
McLeod Fast in Japan But Penalties Hurt
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Sunday, 17 May 2015 13:08

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CHIBA, Japan – Canada’s Pete McLeod flew a lightening fast time at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship’s second leg in Chiba, Japan on Sunday but got hit with two penalties that ruined his day as he and his Garmin Racing Team ended up a disappointing 12th after a surprise first-round knock out by American Michael Goulian. But on the bright side: McLeod thinks he might have solved his engine set-up problems and was pleased at his blazing time.

Racing at speeds of 370 km/h in front of a sold-out crowd of 60,000 spectators on the high-speed, low-altitude track, McLeod finally was able to get his Edge 540 V3 flying the way it did last year and the way he knows it can to be a top contender in the world’s fastest motorsport series.

McLeod, who finished third in the season opener in Abu Dhabi despite an underperforming engine, was hoping to find a way to get back on the podium again in Chiba, Japan – the first time the race was staged in Eastern Asia. McLeod’s time of 50.785 seconds was the second fastest among 14 pilots, only just a fraction of a second behind local hero Yoshihide Muroya of Japan who posted a 50.779 seconds.

But McLeod was penalized five seconds for a total time of 55.785 seconds and lost his heat to Goulian by 2.809 seconds. The American navigated the 25-meter high track without any penalties, although more than two seconds slower, and stopped the clock in 52.976. McLeod was first hit with a three second penalty for hitting a pylon and then got assessed a further two seconds for incorrect level flying through another gate.

“It was a tough day results-wise for me but I think I made a breakthrough with the plane set-up and the flying lines,” said McLeod, who won last year’s race in Las Vegas, sounding relieved that his Garming Racing Team might have finally overcome the bewildering engine problems. “Aside from the penalties, I posted one of the fastest net times of the round. That gives me a positive outlook heading into the next race in Croatia in two weeks.”

Britain's Paul Bonhomme claimed his second victory of the season with a win in Japan on Sunday.

Sunday’s race just off the shores of the Makuhari Beach was the first ever in Japan and the 60th Red Bull Air Race since the sport was launched in 2003. It was warmly embraced by in Chiba, the birthplace of civil aviation in Japan. A record-breaking 120,000 tickets were sold for the two days of racing action and there was heavy media coverage all week. “It’s an historic moment and dream come true for us to hold a race in Japan,” said Red Bull Air Race General Manager Erich Wolf. “It’s wonderful and we’re honored to be racing here.”

The next Red Bull Air Race will be in Rovinj, Croatia on May 30/31.
 
Chiba, Japan 2015 Broadcast Schedule
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Friday, 15 May 2015 23:39




Qualifying Day – Saturday May 16, 2015

Eastern Standard Time: 3:00 - 4:15 a.m.

Central Standard Time: 2:00 - 3:15 a.m.

* Note: Currently only available on redbullairrace.com


Race Day – Sunday May 17, 2015 

Eastern Standard Time: 12:00 - 4:30 a.m.

Central Standard Time: 11:00 pm (May 16th) - 3:30 a.m.

* Note: Red Bull TV broadcast begins 2 hours later (in segment 2)


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A LIVE VIDEO STREAM will be available on race day on both qualifying and race day from Round 2 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan. 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 Chiba, Japan race on tape-delay - timing to be confirmed. 

You can also watch the event on Red Bull TV via www.redbull.tv, 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 PeteMcLeodRacing.com following the race.

Be sure to follow Pete on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
 
McLeod Struggles With Underperforming Engine But With Eye On Podium
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Friday, 15 May 2015 11:42

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(CHIBA, Japan) 15th May, 2015 – Pete McLeod will need to pull out all the stops and hope for a bit of luck to get Garmin Racing team on the podium at Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan to make up for a baffling shortage of power in the engine of his Edge 540 V3 race plane. The Canadian overcame the problems caused by the underperforming engine at the season opener in Abu Dhabi with a solid third place but still can’t figure out what the problem is.

“It’s super frustrating,” McLeod said ahead of Qualifying on Saturday for the first-ever race in Japan in front of a weekend sold-out crowd of 120,000 spectators. “I’m not really happy with the engine. The hope is that it’s not fully broken in after being refurbished in the off season and that maybe it will start to make more power. We’ll just have to wait and see and hope to get some more time with the engine. But there’s not a lot we can do immediately.”

McLeod, who last year frequently set the pace in certain sectors of the racetrack, said that this season his plane was lagging behind most of the others in every sector at the first race in Abu Dhabi. He said even on straight sections right after the start – when all planes enter the track at the same speed of 370 km/h – his plane was falling behind. That is an ominous indication that something is not right with the engine – even though all the pilots fly with standardized engines that are supposed to level the playing field.

“You see it in the sector times and can get a good picture of the overall airplane performance,” said McLeod, who added that even though all the engines leave the factory in pretty much the same shape some pilots have had their engines refurbished in different shops that might have found ways to coax a tiny bit more power out of them. “I know what I’m capable of and I don't usually lose time like this on these sectors.”

McLeod, who arrived in Japan a few days early to try to see some sights with his wife and adjust to the jet lag more gradually, said that his Garmin Racing team is as bewildered as he is. “When your airplane is underperforming, you are losing a little bit of time in every sector. I’m confident that it’s the engine. We feel we’re just not flying as fast as last year.”

McLeod, who got his first career win in Las Vegas last year, managed to squeeze every ounce of piloting ability and experience out in Abu Dhabi to advance all the way to the Final Four and ended up third – a satisfying result considering the difficulties.

“That’s part of competing – you don’t just give up,” he said. “You still have to go out and win and fly as fast as you can and use good tactics or anything else available to win. Even if you have a faster plane you have to do all those things. I’m just hoping to fly as cleanly as possible and we’ll see what happens.”
 
Garmin Racing’s Pete McLeod Prepares For First Race in Japan
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Monday, 11 May 2015 04:26


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The Red Bull Air Race World Championship is making its debut in the Land of the Rising Sun when the series visits Chiba Japan for Round 2 on May 16-17 2015.

The Chiba precinct is the birthplace of civil aviation in Japan, and the Red Bull Air Race will join the long list of firsts for the iconic and booming Tokyo Bay region. “It’s my first time in Japan and I’ll admit this is the location I’ve been most looking forward to this year. Japan has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit, so to have a chance to race here is amazing. I think the people of Japan will be surprised at the high level of excitement a live race has to offer!” responded McLeod when asks for his thoughts on racing in Japan.

Garmin Racing’s Pete McLeod will have to use every bit of his experience to maintain his 3rd place position in the standings. McLeod is always one to push the limit and his flying style has, at time, taken him past the limit; incurring some penalties that hurt his 2014 point total. McLeod will be under increased pressure within the fast Chiba track to lay down smooth, clean and consistent laps throughout the entire weekend, especially considering the concerns over engine performance voiced in the season opener.

“At first look the track in Japan is not overly technical and looks like it could shape up to be a track favouring a fast race plane. After Abu Dhabi, its no secret I’m wasn’t happy with the performance of my engine despite a strong result. I ended up with a good bracket for that race, worked my way through it with clean flying and good strategy – basically taking full advantage of the new format - but I worry that might not be enough for success in Japan.” said McLeod.

If McLeod’s strategy pays off, he’ll hope to carry the momentum directly into the next race two weeks later in Croatia when the series returns to Rovinj.

Be sure to follow Pete McLeod on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
 
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2015 - 05 - 31 
WATCH LIVE STREAM AT REDBULLAIRRACE.COM/live
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2015 AIR SHOW SCHEDULE
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 24
2 Matt Hall 18
3 Nigel Lamb 8
4 Pete McLeod
7
5 Matthias Dolderer 7
6 Nicolas Ivanoff 6
7 Hannes Arch
5
8 Yoshi Muroya
4
9 Michael Goulian 3
10 Peter Besenyei 2
11 Kirby Chambliss 2
12 Juan Velarde
0
13 Martin Sonka
0
14 Francois Le Vot
0
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