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Brendon Leitch Takes First Championship Win And Shares Lead

13 JANUARY 2013

Brendon Leitch Takes First Championship Win And Shares Lead

The opening round of the 2013 Formula Ford Championship has produced a great result for Invercargill driver Brendon Leitch.

Despite problems in qualifying on Saturday Leitch bounced back to not only win his first race in the championship on Sunday afternoon but he also leaves Teretonga with a share of the championship lead.

"Obviously it's great to be leading the championship and to get my first race win," said the younger of the motor racing Leitch brothers after clinching the race win on Sunday.

Qualifying brought disappointment for Leitch as the EH Ball/ITM Stealth ground to a halt with a broken gear linkage before he had time to set a competitive lap time. He resumed late in the session, storming back to set a time good enough for third on the grid for the first race of the round, just .093 of a second off pole position. However he received a penalty for causing a red flag when the car stopped and consequently started the first race from sixth place on the grid.

On Saturday afternoon he worked his way through to third place with some impressive lap times. On Sunday morning Leitch was fourth initially before passing Christchurch driver Tom Alexander to cross the line in third place which then became second after a 5 second penalty was applied to James Munro for jumping the start from pole position.

From third on the grid in the final race Brendon worked his way to second and then took the lead as a three way battle raged between the EH Ball/ITM Stealth and Canterbury drivers Michael Collins and Munro.

Munro and Collins tangled on the last lap leaving Leitch to take his debut victory. Leitch and Collins now lead the championship tied on 202 points as they head to Timaru for Round 2 next weekend.

"I didn't quite have the pace in Race 1 and the handling wasn't the best in Race 2," said Leitch after his victory. "We got on top of the set-up for Race 3 and I was super confident. It turned out the way I planned. It was a good battle."

Photograph - Brendon Leitch leads the field in his EH Ball/ITM Stealth - please credit Kevin Thomson Southspeed

Round 1: 12-13 January 2013 - Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Round 2: 19-20 January 2013 - Timaru International Motor Raceway, Levels, Timaru
Round 3: 2-3 February 2013 - Hampton Downs, Waikato
Round 4: 9-10 February 2013 - Manfeild Park, Feilding
Round 5: 9-10 March 2013 - Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo


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