Cromwell driv­ers liv­ing their dreams

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Some­times dreams do come true.

For Cromwell race car driver An­drew Waite, his came in the form of a text mes­sage out of the blue two months ago, get­ting a call-up to race in one of the big­gest mo­tor races in the world.

Waite re­turned to work at High­lands Motorsport Park on Tues­day af­ter com­plet­ing two rounds of the four round cir­cuit in the FRD LMP3 Se­ries in China. And win­ning.

‘‘It seems too good to be true. It was lit­er­ally just a text mes­sage. I have lit­er­ally dreamed about a mes­sage like that to come true.’’

Waite, driv­ing for the PTRS team owned by Weil­iang Chen and backed by one of Asia’s big­gest celebrity en­ter­tain­ers Jimmy Lin, was cur­rently sit­ting sec­ond over­all in the cham­pi­onship with two rounds to go.

He had al­ready raced at the Zhe­jiang In­ter­na­tional cir­cuit and Shang­hai in­ter­na­tional cir­cuit, and the the next two rounds were at Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional cir­cuit again fol­lowed by Zhuhai In­ter­na­tional cir­cuit.

He cred­ited High­lands with keep­ing his race car driv­ing ‘‘cur­rent’’, and rac­ing with motorsport park owner Tony Quinn had also helped, he said.

‘‘I did race with Tony Quinn at the Bathurst 12-hour in his MacLaren GT3. I would like to think that may have kick-started things.’’

An­other South­ern race car driver, and High­lands Motorsport Park em­ployee, is pur­su­ing his dream rac­ing on the in­ter­na­tional cir­cuit.

Bren­don Leitch re­turned to the United States on Sun­day to com- plete the fi­nal rounds of the FIA For­mula 4 Cham­pi­onship.

‘‘It’s gone re­ally well. I started off a wee bit rough just get­ting used to the car. It’s very dif­fer­ent to what I had been driv­ing. I’ve made some big im­prove­ments. In the last round we got a cou­ple of sixth places and made some big progress with the car. My driv­ing tech­nique needed a bit of tweak­ing as well. l am look­ing for­ward to the next one.’’

While Leitch and Waite flat to­gether, work to­gether and both race - their paths crossed a lot ear­lier, and a boy­hood dream is per­haps play­ing out for 21-year- old Leitch.

‘‘When I was six or seven I used to sit in the trailer when An­drew was rac­ing. He was one of my idols when I was a lit­tle kid so it is re­ally funny. He would come down to In­ver­cargill when I was just a wee tot. It is amaz­ing how it all works out.’’

JO MCKENZIEMCLEAN

High­lands Motorsport Park driv­ers Bren­don Leitch and An­drew Waite.

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