A knackered Brendon Leitch says his impressive drive to finish third in the Hockenheim 12 Hour was the perfect race.
Leitch was part of a four-driver Leipert Motorsport team and made his international GT debut in a Lamborghini Huracan.
Behind the wheel for five of the 12 hours, an exhausted Leitch was a crucial component in securing third place overall.
“I am ruined, completely dead after that race,” Leitch told Velocity News.
“It was an incredible, crazy first experience. Just about everything went perfect.
“The drivers were faultless; pitstops were perfect. The car was a spaceship.
“There is more room for improvement, but the engineers and the team did an amazing job over the weekend.”
Leitch briefly experienced endurance racing back home in the South Island Endurance Series.
However, last weekend’s race in Germany was his first 12 Hour race, and Leitch says he was able to push to his peak for the entirety of every stint.
“They say endurance racing is about managing tyres and fuel,” he said. “But those people have no idea.
“I was driving at 12-tenths, all the way, for the whole race.
“[All my pre-race fitness training] was a huge benefit and gave me a bit extra.”
Having had a few days to settle down the excitement of coming away with some silverware, Leitch says the team’s focus is already moving onto the next race weekend.
He says each of the four drivers are already mapping out ways to improve themselves.
At the same time, the team will also take the opportunity to better certain aspects of their race.
“All the drivers are already talking about what we can improve on for next time.
“Hopefully, we can figure some stuff out as a team. We are gelling together really well.
“Even by just finding one second per pitstop, and we do say 12 pitstops a race, means we will gain 12 seconds of track time.
“So, there are some things we can do.”
The next time Leitch hops into the car will be for a 24 Hour race around Portugal’s Portimao circuit.
Despite coming away from Hockenheim drained and depleted, Leitch is not concerned about how much of a toll his body will take in a 24 Hour race.
“When I’m there [racing at the track], it won’t be too bad,” he said.
“The adrenaline carries through for the whole race, and I am sure I won’t have any issues with my capability.
“It is after the race when you feel it.
“It is like doing something you haven’t done for a long time. You don’t quite know how the muscles will react.”
The Invercargill racer has never done a twice-around-the-clock endurance race, and the last time he raced at night was in a kart.
Still, Leitch is buzzing for the opportunity.
“Having raced a kart at night should help me a little bit, especially with referencing how things are at night. Everything is a lot quicker at night, and referencing will be important.
“But I am pumped for the race and can’t wait to get out there.”
This weekend, Leitch travels to the Paul Ricard circuit to engineer Gerhard Watzinger in a round of the Super Trofeo Lamborghini championship.
He then has a few weeks rest before the 24 Hours of Portugal, which is over July 16-18.