While Brendon Leitch experienced much success in the latest round of the 2023 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe series held at the Circuit de Spa-Francochamps in Belgium over the weekend, the same couldn’t be said for his participation in the 24 Hours of Spa with his Leipert Motorsport team.
The Kiwi driver was joined by teammates Gerhard Watzinger, Kerong Li, and Jean-Francois Brunot behind the wheel of the #70 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO 2, racing in the Pro-Am category, with the collective goal to finish the race and inside the top 10 in their classification.
Rain stopped right on time for the start of the 24-hour race, but the track was still damp in places. In the first hour, however, the #70 had a collision in which some aerodynamic parts were severely damaged, but this could be provisionally repaired during a later scheduled pit stop.
After nine hours the team was within the top 10 of the Pro-Am ranking with their goals seeming to be achievable. Then, after 185 laps, the team unexpectedly had to retire. The CrowdStrike Lamborghini #70 with Leitch at the wheel spun on the gravel-strewn track and was hit on the rear by a following GT3 car.
“We were already about 20-laps down on the field and I was about three-quarters throttle letting cars past,” commented Leitch. “Unfortunately, one driver tried to go round the outside (of me) in turn-six and there is really only one single line through turn-seven so I was off line and ended up in trouble and spinning. I lost the car, had no control and then got collected by another competitor.”
“We started the long-distance classic with realistic goals and were well on the way to achieving our targets in this top-class field,” commented Marcel Leipert. “But then everything turned out differently. The track was so dirty with gravel that Brendon had to move to the even dirtier outside lane during a duel, which made a spin almost unavoidable. The hit by a competitor after the spin then meant the end for the driver crew and the team. In motorsport, such situations are unfortunately part of the game. However, we remain positive and will attack again next time.”
The endurance race result didn’t hamper his success in the 2023 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe series in which he took the lead of in the Pro Class.
“Absolutely thrilled with the results from the two Lamborghini Super Trofeo races,” commented Leitch. “Consistency has been important and is the key to this series. We are still looking for more speed and trying to improve on our performance. We made some good steps in the weekend and we know there is more (speed) to come.”
Competing in his Dayle ITM-backed #86 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2, Leitch qualified eighth in a 48-car field for the first 50-minute race and crossed the finish line in P2 overall.
In race two he started from second on the grid under safety-car conditions as the race was affected by adverse weather ending prematurely without a competitive lap taken. His classification in P2 moved Leitch to first overall on the points table.
“I’m glad we didn’t race in the wet,” said Leitch. “It was torrential. I was aquaplaning even behind the slower safety car.
“In the first race, I initially got up to seventh but was in a train of some quick cars. I took the opportunity to box (compulsory pit-stop) early and came out without any traffic and got three flying laps in which meant I moved up to fifth and then to third. The driver in front of me didn’t take his drive-through penalty so more time was added to his result which moved me to second.”
“The first two race weekends of the season have gone very well,” commented Marcel Leipert, Managing Director of Leipert Motorsport. “We are leading the Pro standings and will continue to do everything we can to defend our championship lead until the end of the season.”
Leitch is back in action at the next round of the Le Mans Cup with Leipert Motorsport in just under two weeks’ time at the Circuit de Paul Ricard (France, 14-15 July), along with Gerhard Watzinger (USA), Gabriel Rindone (I) and Patrick Kujala (SF) in their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo 2.
The next weekend of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe takes place in Germany at the Nürburgring (28-30 July).
Header Image: Supplied