Southland race driver Brendon Leitch is celebrating an "unbelievable" breakthrough race winning weekend (August 11-12) in the FIA Formula 4 USA Championship.
Starting eighth on the grid in that first 30-minute race, Leitch surged through to the early lead but was then caught up in a multiple-car tangle and regained the track 19th overall.
Known for his gritty determination behind the wheel, Leitch was not about to give up. Battling through the field he overtook car after car on a drying track and climbed all the way up to fifth overall. When heavy rain started to fall Leitch was able to call on his many seasons of racing karts and single seaters in the wet at his home track, Teretonga, to take the chequered flag.
Leitch credited the victory to a decision to use slick tyres on a wet but drying track.
“We made a brave move to go out on slicks and as the race progressed I pushed through the field setting fastest lap of the race and came away with the win,” he said.
The kiwi driver then capped the win with third place in the second race, despite an early spin. He then finished second in the final event, winning the weekend outright and announcing his presence as a force in the championship.
Leitch started the weekend in 16th place in the standings and the win propels him into championship contention, fifth place with three rounds remaining.