Peter Podlunšek is the first Slovenian pilot to compete for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Long the top aerobatic pilot in his country, Podlunšek initially expanded his skillset to air racing with two seasons in the Red Bull Air Race Challenger Class, earning four race podiums as well as runner-up in the Challenger Cup Championship. Despite a steep learning curve when he moved to the Master Class in 2016, the pilot earned his first World Championship points in only his second race, and he continued to impress with a strong dedication to training and technical progression throughout his debut season.
Born in the town of Trbovlje, Podlunšek was fascinated by aviation from an early age and earned his licence to fly gliders at 16. He began flying motorised planes at 21 and took up aerobatics three years later. In his first national aerobatic championship, Podlunšek captured third place in the highest category, and he has been amassing medals ever since. Renowned for delivering dynamic runs packed with variety, he has won the Slovenian National Championship eight times, represented Slovenia in the World and European Championships, and triumphed at numerous other international competitions. In two decades of flying global air shows as well as competitive events, Podlunšek has clocked more than 1,800 flight hours.
Core members of Team Peter Podlunšek Racing include team coordinator Katja Papič, technician Dax Wanless, tactician Boštjan Dečman, media coordinator Tina Torelli, social media manager Marko Filipič and video producer Jože Glažar. All share their pilot's keen interest in innovation, which has resulted in raceplane modifications such as striking downturned wingtips.
"It was an amazing season in 2016. We started with the goal of learning as much as possible and working hard on the raceplane. Soon we saw we were quite fast, and the perspective changed. A year that was supposed to be all about learning quickly lost the 'rookie' taste and got serious at only the second race, in Spielberg," says Podlunšek, who is based in the aviation hotbed of Murska Sobota. "We are entering our second Master Class season highly motivated and enthusiastic about the newest modifications on the raceplane. No excuses for Peter Podlunšek Racing – the rookie season is already history. In 2017 we are aiming for the semi-finals, the Round of 8."