Impressive brothers head for new venue

Last updated 05:00 24/01/2014
Damon Leitch
BRUCE JENKINS
MIXED FORTUNES: Invercargill driver Damon Leitch competes at Teretonga earlier this month.

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After showing impressive form in round two of the 2014 Toyota Racing Series at Timaru International Motor Raceway, brothers Damon and Brendon Leitch head into the third round of the series this weekend at a new venue, Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell.

The series has never visited Highlands before, hardly surprising as it is a brand new venue and only hosted it's first race meeting late last year.

The brothers will probably be the only two drivers to have driven on the circuit prior to this weekend, although many of the international drivers in the field are new to all the circuits they encounter in this series.

Damon will arrive at Highlands Motorsport Park fifth in the point standings and the leading New Zealander.

The season started badly for him when he was running second at Teretonga Park and his rear wing delaminated, sending the Post Haste Couriers car off the track.

The incident cost him a healthy number of points.

To add to his pain the fact he did not finish that race also consigned him to the rear of the grid for the second race, making the incident a particularly costly one.

Since then he has been fighting his way back up the points, taking second in the feature race at Teretonga and then two fourths and a seventh at Timaru.

While fifth in the points against such a highly talented international field is noteworthy, without the Teretonga incident he would be even closer to the championship lead.

Damon is looking forward to the round at Highlands.

He relocated from his hometown of Invercargill to work for Grant Aitken at the circuit doing hot laps and car preparation work about four months ago.

"It will be good to go there. I've done a few laps in a Porsche around there and it's pretty interesting. It will be a bit of a challenge," he said.

Younger brother Brendon has also driven around the Highlands circuit.

At the opening of the track last Easter he did his first laps in a TRS car.

"It is a great circuit. It's challenging, very technical and flowing. It will be a hard track for everyone. I have probably done the second most laps around there of the field behind Damon," he said.

Brendon has made a great start to his career in TRS cars after finishing in the top three of the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship for the past two seasons.

Already he has three top 10 finishes to his name amongst these talented internationals and he is hungry for more.

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However, between rounds he is working hard to find enough support to ensure he has the budget to complete the series.

His efforts have uncovered more support, but there is still a shortfall which threatens to derail his fine efforts to date.

 

- © Fairfax NZ News

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