Invercargill’s Brendon Leitch has provided New Zealand with its first victory in this year’s Toyota Racing Series at Manfeild this morning.
And Lando Norris’ fourth place was enough to confirm him as the series champion ahead of this afternoon’s New Zealand Grand Prix.
“I thought the others were a bit asleep on the first lap,” said Leitch who had started fourth and was second after the first corner. He dived under pole sitter Antoni Ptak on the final corner of the first lap to take the lead.
And there was no repeat of last Sunday’s race at Taupo where Leitch led the Sunday morning race, but was edged back to fourth after a controversial re-start midway through the race.
Jehan Daruvala finished second after another great start, while Ptak came home third.
16 year old Norris made sure of the title and he has an unassailable 102 points lead over Daruvala going into the last of 15 races in the Toyota Racing Series this afternoon.
Leitch’s victory has now given him a clear third place in the championship.
Toyota Racing Series, 15 laps Preliminary
1, B Leitch (Invercargill); 2, J Daruvala (India); 3, A Ptak (Poland); 4, L Norris (England); 5, T Cockerton (Pukekohe); 6, J Munro (Christchurch).
Points. - 1, Norris, 849; 2, Daruvala, 747; 3, Leitch, 721; 4, Piquet, 688; 5=, Guanyu Zhou (China), Ferdinand Habsburg (Austria) 667.