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Damon Leitch In Red Hot Form At Timaru


22 JANUARY 2012

Damon Leitch In Red Hot Form At Timaru

Invercargill driver Damon Leitch maintained his red hot form at Round 2 of the Toyota Racing Series at Timaru International Motor Raceway this weekend.

The nineteen year old Southlander is competing against some of the most promising talent in world motor racing and he continues to impress. He led the series after the opening round at Teretonga a week ago and this weekend at Timaru he took his first race win in the category - a dominant win that saw him drive away from the star studded field.

Leitch was on the pace throughout the round, starting the ball rolling by qualifying 4th on Saturday, less than 1/2 a second off pole position. The first race was held on Saturday afternoon over 12 laps From the second row of the grid Leitch launched off the startline to scorch into the lead despite the fact the car of Brazilian Bruno Bonifacio stalled right in front of him. The Southlander led until fellow kiwi Nick Cassidy got past. Leitch continued to pressure Cassidy over the remaining laps and finished second in the Zero Fees Toyota, just .397 of a second behind after a great race. UK driver Josh Hill was third.

Leitch, the series leader as the championship came to Timaru, retained a share of the lead with Cassidy after Saturdays race and started third on the grid on a wet but drying track on Sunday

morning. Again Damon made a lightning start but got boxed in and couldn't force his way through, emerging from the opening corner in fourth place. Unfortunately he locked a rear brake a few laps into the contest and slid off the circuit regaining the track in eighth position. At the conclusion of 20 laps around the demanding 2.4 kilometre track Leitch had improved to fifth and spent the last laps applying pressure to Jono Lester who just managed to fend him off.

Damon had a spot on the front row of the grid for the final race. He made another blinder of a start to take the lead. That was the last the rest of the field saw of the Zero Fees Toyota as Leitch led all the way to take a convincing win.

Overall Leitch was second for the round and now lies second in the championship, just 11 points behind Cassidy, a position that he describes as "very handy.".

"The weekend went really well. I tried different things in qualifying that made it a lot easier than Teretonga. It is great to be getting good starts. I got boxed in at the start of Sunday mornings race though. In the final race I got a great start. I really pushed for two or three laps to build a margin. I was well within what the car could do."

The next round of the series takes place at the Taupo Motorsport Park next weekend.


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