Leitch Brothers Continue To Excel
26 January 2014
Leitch Brothers Continue To Excel
Damon Leitch finished second overall and closed to within seventeen points of the series lead while his brother, series rookie Brendon Leitch, gathered two more top ten finishes as the Toyota Racing Series continued at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell this weekend.
DAMON LEITCH SECOND OVERALL AT HIGHLANDS
Damon Leitch continued his great form in the Toyota Racing Series at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell this weekend, finishing second overall for the round after three excellent drives in mixed conditions in the Post Haste Couriers Toyota.
Leitch qualified seventh in the first session on Saturday morning, a session in which he said he "did not quite get it together." However in the next qualifying session he set the fastest time although officials applied a five place grid penalty when he was adjudged to have cut a corner on his fast lap. In Saturday's opening race Damon lost several positions at the start after getting caught in traffic allowing several cars to get around him. However he soon settled into the race and showed good speed to pass many of the cars in front to secure fourth place at the chequered flag.
Conditions were wet the following day and after a small error on the opening lap of Sunday morning's race Leitch again passed several cars as he climbed back to second place, finishing just .970 of a second behind race winner Russian Egor Orudzhev. The track was still wet when he lined up for the feature event, the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy race later in the afternoon. After having pole position taken off him by officials the previous day Damon made a good start and got underway in third place. He ran second at one stage but as the track dried the Post Haste Couriers Toyota began to slide around and Leitch settled for third place and more good championship points.
Three strong results saw him second overall for the round and saw him on the podium. He now sits fourth in the championship, the leading kiwi, just seventeen points off the series lead.
MORE TOP TENS FOR BRENDON LEITCH
Younger brother Brendon Leitch continues his impressive showing in his rookie season in the Toyota Racing Series. Eighteen year old Brendon qualified just outside the top ten in each of the qualifying sessions on Saturday but followed that up with two top ten finishes in the three races.
On Saturday afternoon Brendon made his way through to ninth place. One more place would have seen him grab pole position for the first race on Sunday but he fell just short, having to settle for ninth grid position on Sunday morning. In the rain on Sunday Leitch made a great start to the morning race and was running well in seventh place when the young rookie made a small mistake at the final corner of the track and hit the wall, damaging the rear corner of the car. The car was back on the grid for the third race of the round and Brendon hustled his way through to sixth before the track dried and he dropped back to ninth place.
However it was another strong showing for Brendon amidst the tough international competition. "We changed a few things after qualifying and that helped a lot. On my fastest lap in the final qualifying l had a fuel pressure problem which mucked up my lap. The track here is great. I like it a lot. However it is new and green and very slippery off line," he said alluding to his accident on Sunday morning.
The series moves to Hampton Downs, North Waikato, next weekend for Round 4 of the series.
2014 TOYOTA RACING SERIES CALENDAR
Round 1: 9-12 January 2014 -
Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Round 2: 16-19 January 2014 - Timaru International Motor Raceway, Levels Timaru
Round 3: 23-26 January 2014 - Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
Round 4: 30 January- 2 February 2014 - Hampton Downs, Waikato
Round 5: 6-9 February 2014 - Manfeild Park, Feilding