Brendon Leitch exuberant after 24 Hours of Sebring battle

Kiwi driver’s team ends the rain-interrupted 24 Hours of Sebring with a DNF after a crash during hour 14, but Leitch thrilled with 2021 24H Series GT3 Pro championship win.

The Giltrap Group backed driver was part of a five-man team in the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 alongside Tyler Cooke, Dennis Fetzer, Sebastian Balthasar and Seb Morris.

With the 12 Hours of Sebring having been a motorsport touchstone for decades, the 24 hour endurance race held across November 18-21 was a new event at the Central Florida circuit. The Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Rutronik Racing was the overall winner of the GT3 class, while Leipert Motorsport’s second team in a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo won the GTX class.

Invercargill-born Brendon Leitch had his first taste of 24 hour racing last weekend at the 24 Hours of Sebring. Racing with the Leipert Motorsport team, Leitch and Tyler Cooke took out the 2021 24H Series GT3 Pro championship – the young Kiwi’s first such title.

The experience was part of a welcome return to international racing for Leitch. The 25-year-old finished second in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Pro-Am class with Leipert Motorsport in 2019 but raced only in New Zealand during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An error during the 14th hour of the 24 Hours of Sebring put Leitch’s five-man team out of contention in the GT3 class after their Lamborghini Huracan GT3 hit a wall. While Leitch says Sebring proved “cruel”, the experience of racing at night for the first time, and the GT3 Pro championship win, left him feeling exuberant.

“What an experience! I honestly can’t thank my supporters at home, my team and my teammates enough,” he wrote on social media after the event.

The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini shot into second after the start of the race. Leitch took the wheel, driving in the dark for the first time in his career. By the time his stint was up, the team car was running in fourth place, which he says was a “not too shabby” result.

“By the seventh hour, we led until a fuel pump issue lost us nine laps. From there it wasn’t meant to be and ended in the 14th hour with my teammate in the wall. We did everything we could to gain time until then, but it’s just not meant to be sometimes.”

Yet, Leitch wrote that there remains plenty of positives to take away from the experience.

 

“As we always look for constant performance improvement and development in the car and in ourselves, I think we’ve taken another big leap forward. I’m so excited to get back in the car with another five hours of driving time now under my belt – three being in the dark.

 

“So happy that @tylercookeracing and I managed to clinch the 2021 24h Series GT3 Pro championship! My first ever title and first of many, I’m sure!” he wrote.

 

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