Saturday, Aug 12 11:34am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Leitch loops it but fights back to third in 'chaotic' race two

If there was one word to describe race two of the United States Formula 4 Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; it would have to be wild.


The race was initially slatted for 33-minutes, but just 10-laps were completed in the race which resembled off road racing more than Formula 4. 


After starting off pole position, ITM backed driver Brendon Leitch finished third in the chaotic second outing, which was marred by several safety car interventions.


Earlier in the day Leitch took his first win in the series after charging from 19th to first in similar conditions.


Speaking with following the frantic race, Leitch said conditions were once again tough to deal with.


“If you thought the first one was chaotic, that one was just as good,” he said.


“We didn’t do more than three quarters of a lap before the safety car came out. I don’t think we went past the finish line as speed. We were always behind the safety car.”


There was drama before the race even began with cars spearing off on the warm up lap. That forced the race to start behind the safety car in a NASCAR-style two-wide restart.


Leitch led the field into turn one, but behind there was drama aplenty. The fourth placed car of Raphael Forcier got loose as he lit up his tyres coming onto the front straight. With his car nearly in a spin, sixth placed Jim Goughary Jr took evasive action to miss Forcier. He took to the grass and lost a handful of positions


Over the course of the weekend, the tarmac at turn one was beginning to break up. That forced the hand of the circuit mangers to put rubber seal down as a short term fix.


However, that proved costly for Leitch. Coming into turn one a pool had formed in the patchjob, which caused him to spear off the road.


“They put this rubber seal down and water sat on it. I clipped it, aquaplanned and fell back to 10th place and just powered back through to third.


“I just sat behind the front two guys. I was a second behind them but just sat there because I didn’t want to do anything too silly.


“The conditions were bad. It was hard to find where to push. I was backing it into the corner but I’m pretty happy to get third.”


Further down the field there were more drivers spinning off the track, which brought out yet another safety car. Leitch was briefly fourth in the order, but made his way up to third soon after the third restart. 


Lawson Nagel brought out yet another safety car when he spun off at the carousel.


With only a few minutes remaining in the race Leitch finished comfortable in third behind race leader Skylar Robinson and Kyle Kirkwood. 


Leitch will start from third in the last race of the weekend on Sunday.


“Hopefully it’s dry. We were really quick in the dry in qualifying.”


Photo: US F4 Championship