Weather plays its part in Le Mans Cup finale for Leitch

Unfortunately for competitors at the final round of the 2023 Michelin Le Mans Cup (LMC), weather played its part both leading up to and during Sunday’s two-hour race. Kiwi driver Brendon Leitch along with teammate Gregg Gorski, competing in the #24 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, qualified seventh and finished eighth at the end of a rain-shortened race at the Algarve International Circuit, Portimão in Portugal.

“It was difficult weekend as the weather patterns were strange all week,” commented Leitch. “Probably 70% of all track time was in the wet.

“Qualifying was interesting as it started raining just as cars were about to head out and the fastest times were on the first flying lap. After that, times just got slower.”

Extreme weather conditions were to interrupt the race over the 110-minute distance. First, heavy rain caused a start behind the safety car. Visibility was extremely restricted by the spray, with water running over the track in some sections.

“Gregg had a great first half in the wet then just before he pitted and I got in there was a lot of heavy rain and standing water,” said Leitch.

“The problem was the safety car slowed the field down and water spread across the track which became like an ice rink.

“We raced for about another five or so laps then the safety car came out again and the race was eventually red flagged (stopped) due to safety concerns.

“That’s probably the worst conditions I have raced in. You feel like you are on an ice patch and then suddenly you have grip. Our mid-engine car is definitely not suitable for it compared with either front or rear engine cars which can get more weight on the axles.

“In the end we made the best of it and brought it back in one piece. Greg did really well on his first outing in the Le Mans Cup, so the team is very happy.”

Leitch now heads home to compete in the Highlands 6-Hour race at the Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell with co-drivers Christina Orr-West and Tim Miles driving the Dayle ITM Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO for the 10th anniversary race, 5 November 2023