Unusual Problem Forces Gleason's Car Out Early in the Rolex 24 at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 28 - Chris Gleason's car retired from the Rolex 24 early on Saturday afternoon due to a broken timing chain that caused fatal engine ...
Unusual Problem Forces Gleason's Car Out Early in the Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 28 - Chris Gleason's car retired from the Rolex 24 early on Saturday afternoon due to a broken timing chain that caused fatal engine problems.
The driver who started the car, Ian James of Phoenix, was only able to complete five laps before the problem developed, so Gleason, of Johnstown, Pa., didn't get to drive in the event this year.
In addition to James and Gleason, Henri Zogaib of Daytona Beach and Tom Nastasi of Stamford, Conn. were slated to drive the Blackforest Motorsports Crawford Ford No. 50.
"Unfortunately the timing chain broke and it bent all the valves in the engine, so that's it," Gleason said. "It's very unusual for a timing chain to break. Our engine preparer was very surprised that it happened because it is so unusual.
"I've been in this race like a dozen times and I've been everywhere from the podium to having the car go out at the beginning," he added. "Things happen in racing; that's just the way it goes sometimes. But I'm feeling better, so that's good."
Gleason developed the flu on Thursday night, but he said he got a good night's sleep on Friday night, he was feeling much better, and he was ready to drive on Saturday and Sunday.
Gleason and Bill Auberlen of Redondo Beach, Calif. finished second in the Grand-Am Cup race at Daytona on Friday in the Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3 No. 96. That series is the one that Gleason is focusing on in 2006. They'll try to do that again or even finish one spot higher at the next Grand-Am Cup race, which will be at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. April 21-23.