Yellow school bus red-flagged during New Zealand driver Brendon Leitch's Formula 4 USA Championship race
Kiwi motor-racing driver Brendon Leitch has witnessed one of the more bizarre sights on a race track.
Leitch was competing in the second race of the Circuit of the Americas, a Formula 4 USA Championship event, in Texas when the bus appeared on the circuit, after apparently taking a wrong turn.
Racing was red flagged while the lumbering 30-seater with only the driver on board was escorted to the infield.
Despite the incident, Southland's Leitch banked valuable points for his championship campaign.
"That was a heck of a drive, I couldn't go any quicker but we did our best and got into the top ten," Leitch said.
Racing in FIA Formula 4 USA alongside the high profile FIA World Endurance Championship, Leitch was figuratively rubbing shoulders with two great Kiwi race drivers – Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber, who were on their winning way in the main event, hunting down a championship title with Porsche.
We are red...there is a school bus on the track...no you read right a school bus— F4 U.S. Championship (@F4Championship) September 16, 2017
But things were tougher for Leitch, who encountered difficult conditions in a car that was down on speed compared to his rivals.
'We were hoping to be very competitive here, but the other teams had speed we couldn't claw back," he said.
This meant he was only able to qualify 13th out of 33 and was vulnerable to being dragged into incidents involving other racers.
A penalty from the previous round dropped him further, to 22nd spot on the race one grid.
Leitch put in a determined, gritty drive and clawed his way through to be 16th at the finish, heading into the unusual bus incident race.
A position 10 grid for the third and final race of the weekend was converted into a provisional finish placing of 11th.
Leitch is holding on ninth place in the championship, while his American team-mate Dakota Dickerson is sixth.
The final round of the championship returns to the Circuit of the Americas next month as a support category for the US Grand Prix.