NEWS
Sunday, Aug 13 09:48am
AUTHOR: Matthew Hansen

Brendon Leitch scores maiden United States Formula 4 round win

Kiwi Brendon Leitch has sealed his first round victory in the United States Formula 4 Championship, after rounding off a stellar weekend at Mid-Ohio with a gritty second-place finish in the final race of the weekend. 

 

“I'm really happy. I'm comfortable with the car now, and making the most of everything out there.” Leitch told velocitynews.co.nz.

 

Starting from third, Leitch sat poised in third for much of the race behind Kyle Kirkwood and Justin Sirgany. The trio were the class of the field, quickly building margin over the rest of the field; repeating this several times through the multiple safety-car periods. 

 

Leitch then took second from Sirgany after the driver made an unforced error; dropping a couple of wheels in the dirt and running wide. But ultimately, the ITM pilot had to settle for second, as Kirkwood took victory by 1.778 seconds.

 

“We settled into a rhythm, and I started to put some pressure on second place. Then he actually put some wheels off the track so I got by him pretty easily. From there on I was just trying to push on to catch the leader

 

“We were pretty close, but I couldn't do too much about it. So I sat there in second, and we drove away from the field.”

 

The round win completes a breakthrough weekend for the Invercargill driver, who credits the step up in speed to his adaption to the Formula 4 platform, as well as to the Kiwi Motorsport NZ team.

 

“I've just clicked with the car, really. I've had to completely change my driving style and try and remember how I used to drive a Formula Ford four or five years ago now, and use some of those techniques. They're slowly coming back to me, but it is taking a bit of time. 

 

“It's been a wee while, but I knew at Mosport that I had it sorted. There was speed to show, but no real points. But, I knew coming to this round that I was very comfortable and that I could battle with the front guys. And today we proved it. 

 

“The guys have prepped a good car as well, and made everything so much easier for me. All I have to do is the best I can out there, and I know I've got a really good package under me. 

 

“It's incredbile. It's pretty humbling to be up the front there with those guys. I think there's one world karting champion there, and other ones that have won a lot of titles as well. So they're very accomplished drivers in their own right.”

 

The results see Leitch springboard to fifth place in the title standings, having started the weekend from outside the top 10. The series now travels to Virginia International Raceway for next weekend's event. 

 

Photo: Michael Burchak


Results


1. Kyle Kirkwood  17 laps
2. Brendon Leitch  +1.778
3. Justin Sirgany  +3.521
4. Skylar Robinson  +4.907
5. Raphael Forcier  +7.210
6. Mathias Soler-Obel  +8.162
7. Jordan Sherratt  +10.476
8. Jim Goughary Jr  +12.017
9. Jonathan Scarallo  +12.667
10. Benjamin Pedersen  +12.819


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