After Saturday’s Qualifying session for the Red Bull Air Race season finale, Canada’s Pete McLeod was awarded the season honor in a special ceremony.
Indianapolis (USA) – The DHL Fastest Lap award was first introduced to the Red Bull Air Race last year, defining a new standard of speed in the World Championship series. At each race, the DHL Fastest Lap Award goes to the pilot who has clocked the fastest single lap among all of the two-lap Qualifying runs. Then, at the end of the season, the pilot with the most awards across the eight races is awarded the DHL Fastest Lap trophy. The inaugural trophy went to Germany’s Matthias Dolderer, who earned the DHL Fastest Lap Award at two race stops on his way to winning the 2016 World Championship.
In the 2017 season, McLeod has dominated the Qualifying Day competition, earning the DHL Fastest Lap Award in Chiba, Japan; Budapest, Hungary; Kazan, Russia; and Porto, Portugal. Meanwhile, Dolderer added one more DHL Fastest Lap Award to his career tally with a standout run in San Diego, USA, while two Americans also claimed their own 2017 awards – Michael Goulian in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kirby Chambliss at Germany’s Lausitzring. Australia’s Matt Hall earned the last DHL Fastest Lap award for the season in a blistering flight at Indianapolis on Saturday.
“It always feels good to win and go fast out there. I love to put down quick times, whether they’re a single lap or a Qualifying, a race or a training,” said McLeod. “I think the spirit of the award is great – just go out there simple and go fast. I’m very happy to be receiving the trophy this year.”
On hand to present the DHL Fastest Lap trophy to McLeod was James Puffer, DHL Sector Head for Automotive America, as well as Dustin Daniels, a student pilot who earned a behind-the-scenes tour at the Red Bull Air Race in Indianapolis as the winner of a special contest offered by the DHL Social Media Team.
“I was at the race in Las Vegas last year, but it was just general admittance, so to be here as a competition winner and get the hospitality is amazing. I’ve won stuff before, but never anything this extravagant – so it’s pretty crazy to be here,” said an elated Daniels. “I’m a pilot in training and about 15 hours from my Private Pilot License, and my buddy who came with me is also a pilot. We both work at an airfield, so we’re around it 24/7 and I love everything aviation. I’m excited to be giving Pete McLeod the trophy.”
Currently third in the overall standings, in the season finale on Sunday McLeod will be looking to duplicate Dolderer’s 2016 feat of claiming the Red Bull Air Race World Championship as well as the DHL Fastest Lap trophy.
DHL’s Puffer stated, “It’s nice for us to bring our customers here and experience the skill and the detail of the Red Bull Air Race. It’s really unique, and you don’t get to see this every day. It’s different and alive, and our customers have become engaged. I bet they’re going to watch it tomorrow.”
Good seats are still available for the Red Bull Air Race season finale on Sunday, 15 October. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com