Peter Besenyei

Peter Besenyei, 2015

Pilot info

Pilot bio

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Peter Besenyei retired at the end of the 2015 season, but how bowed out as one of the most successful pilots in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. He is still joint third on the all-time race wins list with eight career victories. He also has 22 podiums in 10 seasons. The Hungarian pilot was a driving force behind the creation of the world's fastest motorsport series and his pioneering efforts helped develop the high speed, low altitude racing.

An intensely competitive man with a smooth style of flying, Besenyei was a dominant force at first, winning the overall title in the inaugural 2003 season. He was second three straight seasons after that (2004, 05, 06). In the past Besenyei has worked as a test pilot for the Hungarian Aviation Office and as an aerobatics instructor. He has worked hard to advance the sport, with a special focus on aircraft development. Besenyei is one of the most popular sportsman in Hungary thanks to his flying successes.

He grew up near Budapest Airport and developed an intense interest in aviation at a young age. He flew a glider for the first time at the age of 15 and soon became an aerobatics pilot, winning assorted national and international championships. He has flown all the aircraft used in the Red Bull Air Race, from the Zivko Edge 540, the Extra and he was closely involved in the development of a special new plane called the Corvus Racer that had its debut in the middle of the 2010 season. Besenyei has also been a catalyst for inventing a number of original aerobatic manoeuvres such as the "knife-edge spin".

Besenyei's unparalleled experience and expertise was put to good use when he was called in to help develop the Red Bull Air Race in 2001 and two years later he took first place in the inaugural race in Zeltweg, Austria. He became famous around the world for flying upside down under the Chain Bridge that spans the Danube River in Budapest. Besenyei's hobbies include fishing, parachuting, car racing, music and photography.