Leitch powers towards NZ Formula Ford title

Invercargill driver Brendon Leitch will take a 49-point lead into the penultimate round of the 2013 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship at Manfeild this weekend.

The Manfeild round is a support event at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting.

Leitch has won two of the three rounds, sharing the first win with Christchurch's Michael Collins.

However, at Hampton Downs last weekend, his ITM Stealth was short of straight-line speed, resulting in third place overall after third placings in the three races.

Despite that result, Leitch managed to extend his championship lead.

"The car wasn't strong at Hampton Downs but we kept it consistent throughout," Leitch said.

"There will be a few changes, performance-wise, before Manfeild," he said.

He is in his third year in the championship. For the two years prior to that, older brother Damon spent two seasons as a Formula Ford frontrunner in the same car.

"I might look to Damon to help us extract that last bit," Leitch said.

Damon Leitch said his brother "does pretty well on his own but I am more than happy to help whenever he asks".

Damon has stepped up to the Toyota Racing Series and will race in the Grand Prix this weekend.

The younger driver has always performed well at Manfeild.

"I would like to take at least one race win and possibly the round win at Manfeild," Brendon Leitch said.

"I have to keep finishing races.

"I want to try and extend the championship lead and create a buffer heading into the last round at Taupo," he said.

After qualifying on Saturday, the Formula Ford drivers will face three races at Manfeild.

The first will be run on Saturday afternoon, followed by two on Sunday.

Leitch finished third in last year's championship.

Manawatu Standard