The Racer's Group qualifies for the Petit Le Mans. Braselton, GA -- October 17, 2003 - The Gleason Agency and Alpine Bagels-backed Porsche 911 GT3 RS of The Racer's Group topped the team qualifying charts today, as Chris Gleason qualified the ...
The Racer's Group qualifies for the Petit Le Mans.
Braselton, GA -- October 17, 2003 - The Gleason Agency and Alpine Bagels-backed Porsche 911 GT3 RS of The Racer's Group topped the team qualifying charts today, as Chris Gleason qualified the #68 car 9th in class. Gleason, of Johnstown, PA, took his first turn at qualifying the car this season, and responded by outrunning all of his teammates. "The car was tremendous for me," he said, "but I owe the chance to qualify to my teammate. We have a deal among our drivers that whoever goes the fastest in practice is the one to qualify, so I have to thank Marc [Bunting, Gleason's co-driver] for deferring to my age in the last race of the season. It was an excellent session, and as always, I had a blast driving in the rain. The Porsches are just a blast to drive in the wet -- lots and lots of sliding."
Bunting, of Monkton, MD, talked about his co-driver's show of speed. "He keeps telling us that he loves driving in the rain, and today he proved it. The car is good and comfortable for the race tomorrow, which is important due to its length. We're all looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and getting into our rhythm."
Qualifying 11th in class was the #67 car of Tom Nastasi. He commented on his qualifying session: "The car was so great in the rain, good and compliant. I just finished 7th in the Star Mazda race earlier today, so I felt like I was going so slowly by comparison. I've got to say that the Michelins were fantastic out there -- we were running the softest full rain compound that we could, and they were very grippy."
Team owner Kevin Buckler qualified the #66 New Century Mortgage, Monster Cable and mail2web.com-backed car in 12th position, as the team employed a conservative strategy in expectation of a long and grueling race tomorrow. He said, "We've got the car in great form for the race tomorrow, and the setup we achieved earlier in the day wasn't optimum for the rain. Now, we've got the evening to 'nut and bolt' the car and get ready for a long race tomorrow."
American Porsche Junior driver Patrick Long, who's been the focus of much media attention this weekend, gave his impressions ahead of tomorrow's 6th annual Petit Le Mans. "We've got the car in the show in one piece, and we tried to focus today more on race setup than on winning practice. Cort and Kevin are both very experienced drivers, and I like to think of myself as a smart driver. I expect to get out there and take it carefully for the first couple hours of the race tomorrow, and then we'll really push hard towards the end of the race. With luck, I'll learn a lot in the first couple of hours, keep my nose clean, and keep lowering the lap times as the race goes on. I'm very much looking forward to it."
The 6th annual ALMS Petit Le Mans will be run Saturday, October 18, for 10 Hours of 1000km, whichever occurs first. The race will be broadcast live on Speed Channel at 11:00am on the 18th.
The Racer's Group is a manufacturer and distributor of high performance Porsche parts, an engine and chassis building and tuning facility, a full service Porsche prep facility, and a professional race team. Additionally, they provide electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and "arrive and drive" services. The Racer's Group is based at Infineon Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma, Calif.