LEITCH BOUNCES BACK AT TIMARU

Invercargill driver Damon Leitch bounced back from his tough weekend at Teretonga seven days ago with a gutsy performance at Round 4 of the Zoagn NZ Formula Ford Championship at Timaru International Motor Raceway this weekend.

After being pushed off the track and into the tyre wall at high speed at Teretonga last Saturday 17-year-old Leitch had been on medication and receiving physio in the week since Teretonga, treatment that will be ongoing for a time. Consequently the Southlander was still very uncomfortable while driving at Timaru but he did a fine job nevertheless.

Rain greeted competitors at the circuit on Saturday morning and Leitch was quickly into his work, taking pole position by an impressive margin by Formula Ford standards, .772 of a second ahead of Matt Williams with championship leader Martin Short third. Leitch was happy with changes made to the Zero Fees Stealth and said the car was great in the wet.

Leitch's time had him on pole position for the opening race that afternoon but he was beaten away by Williams from alongside on the front row. A small mistake during the race let a group of cars past and Leitch eventually crossed the line 7th.

Rain returned the following morning and the Zero Fees Stealth lined up seventh on a wet track. Leitch was behind two cars that spun in the treacherous conditions on the opening lap and hit a car that braked hard to miss the errant cars. However he was soon showing his skill, carving his way through the field. While he battled his way through race leader Nick Cassidy and second placed man Martin Short had built up a good advantage. Leitch steadily reeled in Short and got by into second place but time ran out before he could do anything about the leader.

Conditions were dry again for the final race and Damon was involved in some torrid battles for position. He again won his way through from seventh on the grid and crossed the line in fourth place, his accumulated results placing him fourth overall for the weekend.

"I'm really happy with that," declared Damon at the end of the day. The Zero Fees Stealth was not quite as good in the dry as it was in the wet. In the dry races once I got into those battles it was difficult to keep up with the leaders."

Round 5 of the championship takes place at Manfeild Park, Feilding over the weekend of 13/14 February.

Damon's campaign in the 2009/2010 Zoagn Formula Ford Championship is supported by Zero Fees, Allied Petroleum, Mobil 1, Toll Tranzlink, EH Ball ITM Building Supplies, Ray White Real Estate, BNT Motorsport, Kingsford-Smith Motor Painting Ltd, Advantage Signs, Caltex Invercargill Oil Shop, Turntru Machining, Discount Tyres, PPG, Total Trade Tools, Teng Tools, Collingwood Foodcentre, Macaulay Ford, Office Shop, Steve Rhodes Feature Cars, McIntyre Dick & Partners, Highway Services, Knight Of New Zealand, Clive Wilson Ltd, Wurth, i-cue, Newfield Autos, Arrow International, Southern Paints, Yunca Heating & Gas and Leitch Motorsport.

-source: damon leitch