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 World Championship. In the eight-race 2017 season, McLeod has dominated the Qualifying sessions, earning the DHL Fastest Lap Award in Chiba, Budapest, Kazan and Porto.
"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 and go fast. I'm very happy to be receiving the trophy this year."
In April, Dolderer added one more DHL Fastest Lap Award to his career tally with a blazing run in San Diego, USA, while two Americans also claimed their own awards – Michael Goulian in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kirby Chambliss at Germany's Lausitzing. Matt Hall picked up the award at the final in Indianapolis.
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, who earned the opportunity of as a behind-the-scenes tour at the Red Bull Air Race as the winner of a special contest offered by the DHL Social Media Team.
"It's very nice that our organisation is part of this event," explained Puffer. "At DHL in America we don't sponsor that many things, we sponsor a lot of global sports, such as F1 and we do this, and soccer, but no baseball, no NFL so it's different. For me it's a blessing to be part of this."
Daniels, who is a trainee pilot and huge aviation fan, was thrilled to be at the Red Bull Air Race. "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.
"I'm a pilot in training and about 15 hours from my PPL 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.