Dual former Castrol Racing Series drivers Brendon Leitch and Christina Orr-West have been confirmed to take on New Zealand’s upcoming South Island Endurance Series in a Dayle ITM–backed Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3.
It’s the second time the pairing have taken on New Zealand’s endurance calendar in GT3 machinery, having successfully campaigned a Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS a few seasons ago with the short-lived Mike Racing outfit.
“Honestly I am pretty excited to be out there racing and am looking forward to the endurance campaign,” said Leitch. “Although the Audi is a new car to me, I’ve now got experience in a variety of GT machinery and hopefully will be able to bring that to this project and maximise what we can from the car, which is older spec of course.
“Between Christina and myself, I reckon we have a very strong team in terms of both outright pace, race strategy and getting the most from the car as well as making sure we bring it home. It’s going to be an exciting season and it’s great to be out racing with everything that is going on here and elsewhere in the world.”
The announcement is part of a three-pronged push from Dayle ITM. The brand has also confirmed an entry in the upcoming Toyota 86 Series for Orr-West, and as part of its latest announcement confirmed that Leitch will race in the growing Formula Open series.
It will be something of a reunion for Leitch, since he will be driving Toyota FT-50 chassis No. 33 — the same car that he campaigned during the 2016 Toyota Racing Series. He finished third in the championship that season (behind current Formula 1 star Lando Norris and Formula 2 driver Jehan Daruvala).
Leitch hopes that the open-wheel seat time will help him stay race fit ahead of a hopeful return to open-wheel racing overseas.
“The car is an old friend and it will be great to get out in it again,” he said. “We’ll run it in the original Dayle ITM livery and it will be great to get that brand out there again on a single seater.
“Dayle ITM have been long-time supporters of myself and Christina and I am sure she will run well in the Toyota 86 series too. We might well see a few yellow cars out there winning this coming season – let’s hope so.”