Kiwi GT driver Brendon Leitch heads off to Spa-Francorchamps next week for a debut drive in the British GT championship in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
The opportunity to race in the multi-class sports car series arose for Leitch after the Portimao 24 Hour race he was initially entered in was cancelled.
Now, Leitch will partner with German driver Fidel Leib for the Spa round of the British GT championship.
He is also set for a drive at Hockenheim in the ADAC GTC series later this year.
“It is a shame Portimao was cancelled,” Leitch told Velocity News. “I have wanted to race at that track for a while now and was looking forward to it.
“But the replacements for me are awesome and, in some ways, it is a blessing in disguise.”
Leitch’s last hit out on the race track was at the Hockenheim 12 Hour in May.
There, he drove five out of the 12 hours to help his team finish third overall.
Despite being away from racing for a long time, Leitch says his self-confidence is at a new peak, and he feels physically prepared to return to the driver’s seat.
“I’ve been doing a bit of serious simulator stuff with the team, getting ready for the next race.
“There has also been a lot of physical training, all just trying to improve my physical strength.
“But my confidence is high.
“I am super fortunate to have all the tools I need and a great team around me to do the job.”
Last month Leitch was announced as one of 15 Lamborghini Junior GT3 drivers.
The junior programme mentors aspiring GT talents across a season, with a promotion to becoming a factory Lamborghini driver a real possibility for some as early as next year.
Leitch had some engineering support from Lamborghini at the Hockenheim 12 Hour, which he said taught him a lot.
Next weekend, his race in Spa will put him against two current factory Lamborghini drivers – Dennis Lind and Sandy Mitchell – in a challenge he is excited to tackle.
“I’ve been enjoying the junior programme,” Leitch said.
“It is yet to be super involving, but it will do soon.
“It’s going to be interesting going head-to-head with Dennis and Sandy, and it’ll make for a good comparison for me as well.”
The Spa race is two hours with a sole driver change.
It is a mere sprint for Leitch, who has been training to compete at a high intensity for more than double the amount of seat time per race in the past few months.
“Spa is a physical circuit, but I’m ready for it,” he said. “The body is feeling good.
“You’ve got to push hard to extract the maximum out of each lap.
“But it is really just a two-hour sprint race for me.
“So, I’ll be pushing the whole time I am in the car.”
The Spa round of the British GT Championship is held on July 24-25 and free to stream live on YouTube.