As the ninth season of the Red Bull Air Race rapidly approaches, Team Garmin pilot Pete McLeod looks to bounce back from last year’s eighth place finish and continue his quest to claim his first World Championship trophy. The first stop in the 2016 campaign, Abu Dhabi March 11-12, just so happens to be the site of McLeod’s best result in 2015, a third place podium finish.
McLeod’s team was busy this off-season refining their Zivko Edge 540 to make sure man and machine are at their best this year. Garmin’s own Team X, a group of dedicated engineers, homebuilders and pilots, chipped in to do their part. New to the cockpit of the solid black Garmin-branded race plane is a pair of G3X Touch flight display systems. The G3X Touch, available in 7 & 10.6-inch display options, is the smartest, most advanced large-format touchscreen flight display we’ve ever designed for the experimental/amateur built aircraft market. With the option to function as a Primary Flight Display or in a split Multi Function Display mode, this versatile product includes capabilities from attitude/directional guidance, electronic engine monitoring, interactive moving-map and much more!
The Team Garmin race plane won’t be the only thing changing for this year, the Red Bull Air Race format is receiving a few tweaks itself. The first Round of 14 will remain unchanged, with pilots competing based on their qualifying time, with the winner of each heat advancing, plus the round’s fastest loser. In the next Round of 8, the eight pilots will be reseeded based on their Round of 14 times. Each winner of the head-to-head match will advance to the Final 4, unless both pilots from a heat fail to score a valid time, in which case a second fast loser from the Round of 14 will move in to the Final 4 instead. The Final 4 round will remain the same, with the top 3 spots determining the podium finishes.