ABU DHABI – McLeod, who won Qualifying here a year ago, said he was frustrated with his engine’s performance after he only managed to post the seventh fastest time in the final training run on Thursday.
“We have a major concern about our engine – it’s just not putting out the power,” said McLeod, who took third in Abu Dhabi last year and got his first career victory in Las Vegas later in the season. “We’re hoping the engine maybe just isn’t broken in yet. It’s terrible. We just don’t seem to have the power. We’re looking at every angle. It all keeps pointing back to the engine.”
McLeod said his Garmin Racing team will continue working hard to get the standardized engine performing better while he said he will try to stay focused on what he can do well – flying through the high-speed, low-altitude track as cleanly as possible.
“I’m flying pretty well and am just going to try to concentrate on the strategy of flying well and the other things on the airplane that we can improve,” he said. “I hope we can find a solution. I like this track even though it’s not very difficult. It’s got a lot of room. The wind is blowing out there and there are some corners that let you play with the winds properly. Everything’s going well, except we’re not happy with the motor.”
The Red Bull Air Race, in which the world’s top 14 pilots navigate a low-level slalom track made up of 25-meter high air-filled pylons at speeds of up to 370 km/h, is the official World Championship of air racing recognized by the FAI – Federation Aeronautique Internationale. The eight-race 2015 world championship kicks off on Saturday.