Pete McLeod

I expect myself to be in the Final 4 every race!

Pete McLeod of Canada performs during Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Eurospeedway in Lausitz, Germany on September 3,
© Andreas Schaad/Red Bull Content Pool

Hi, my name is Pete McLeod. My discipline is air racing. I was born on 23 February 1984 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. My special talent is outdoor sports, such as hunting and fishing. My philosophy of life is don’t stress over small stuff – play to win and take smart risks. The most important person in my life is my mum. My favourite food is seafood, however popcorn is a close second. My favourite music is ’80s and ’90s rock.

Bio

Truly a lifetime aviator, Pete received his first flight in the family plane at six weeks old. His mother recalls how a six-year-old Pete would sit on his father’s lap, hands on the control column during flights to remote lakes. From that point on he learned to fly float and ski planes over Canada’s rugged north. Pete qualified for his private pilot’s licence at 16, earning his aerobatic-instructor rating when he was 18. But it wasn't until Pete took delivery of his first high-performance aerobatic aircraft, a Pitts Special, that he began flying serious competition aerobatics.

2004 was Pete’s first full competitive season and he went on to fly undefeated, winning multiple awards in his class and becoming the 2004 North American Collegiate Aerobatic Champion. For 2006, he decided to focus on professional aerobatics, and took a 2nd place Advanced category finish at the US National Aerobatic Championships. By 2007, Pete earned his unrestricted surface level aerobatic waiver, allowing him to continue to progress his flying.

Pete was invited to attend the Red Bull Air Race Qualification Camp in Spain in September 2008, and was one of four rookies – the youngest ever and only Canadian – selected for active race status.

He joined the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2009 and showed tremendous promise in his first two seasons, jumping from 15th place in his rookie season to fifth the following year.

When the Red Bull Air Race returned in 2014, Pete stormed into the first race of the season with his best-ever result, a third-place podium, laying down the gauntlet as a World Championship title contender. He ultimately finished the season in fifth place once again.

In 2015 he was looking to move up the overall standings even further, and began the season with a podium place in Abu Dhabi. However he wasn't able to hit those heights again that year, ultimately finishing in eighth.

A strong finish to the 2016 season, including consecutive podium places at Lausitz and Indianopolis, saw him post a season-on-season improvement once again, taking seventh spot in the classification.

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Career Highlights

  1. 2016
    1. 3rd Place: Red Bull Air Race World Championship

      Indianapolis, USA

  2. 2016
    1. 3rd Place: Red Bull Air Race World Championship

      Lausitz, Germany

  3. 2015
    1. 3rd Place: Red Bull Air Race World Championship #1

      Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. 2014
    1. 5th Place Overall: Red Bull Air Race World Championship

    2. 3rd Place: Red Bull Air Race World Championship #6

      Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, USA

    3. 3rd Place: Red Bull Air Race World Championship #1

      Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. 2010
    1. 5th Place: Red Bull Air Race World Championship

  6. 2009
    1. Red Bull Air Race World Championship - Youngest ever rookie