Canadian Red Bull Air Race competitor Pete McLeod says he was lucky to salvage a fourth place finish out of last weekend’s race in Rovinj, Croatia.
The London, Ont. native said clipping a pylon in the qualifying round should have kept him out of the running on Sunday but because four other racers had done the same before he did, he earned a back-door spot in the next round which then led to his Final Four appearance.
The finish, coming on the heels of his third-place finish in the first race of the season at Abu Dhabi, earned him five points and kept him in third place overall in the standings. Hannes Arch, of Austria, was first and Paul Bonhomme of the U.K. was second. Yoshihide Muroya, of Japan, got his first podium finish with a third place performance.
McLeod said he was suffering from a sinus problem heading into the race but said he also had trouble getting into the groove in Rovinj.
“I’m satisfied with the points – it’s more than I could have hoped for with my performance,” said McLeod on his Web site. “I just wasn’t feeling things [Sunday]. I was fighting the airplane, not feeling well, and it showed in the track. I was surprised by my first flight. I almost hit five pylons before I hit that one pylon. So it was a mess out there.”
McLeod will have a month to regroup before the race series heads to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 17-18.