Gleason and His Teammates Finish Third in GT at Mid-Ohio Saturday Night LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 7 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. and his teammates, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass. finished third in the GT class...
Gleason and His Teammates Finish Third in GT at Mid-Ohio Saturday Night
LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 7 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. and his teammates, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass. finished third in the GT class Saturday night in the EMCO Gears Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The 250-mile race was televised on a same-day, tape-delayed basis on SPEED.
The trio's Racers Group Porsche #66 was able to hold off the hard-charging BMW of Boris Said and Joey Hand at the checkered. After two hours and 45 minutes of competition, there was only 0.669 of a second between third and fourth place at the line.
Gleason drove the first stint without incident, turning the car over to Valentine in second place during a full-course caution on lap 37, almost an hour into the race. The team pitted again under caution on lap 48, about an hour and 20 minutes into the race, when James relieved Valentine.
The team is sponsored by The Gleason Group, F1 Boston, Monster Cable and Adobe Road Winery.
"Getting on the podium is always our goal, so we're happy," said Gleason in victory lane. "Ian [James] got in for the last hour and 20 minutes or so and he held off that BMW and delivered. The BMW was really pressing though.
"I drove the first stint, and my whole job was to be consistent, run a good pace and not get into any trouble. I was able to do that today. When I came in to turn the car over to R.J. [Valentine], we were second.
"The car oversteered at the beginning of the race; the tires just didn't seem to come in right for some reason. But I was in the car for about an hour, and everything went well.
"Third solidifies our second place in the point standings, so we're happy. We are looking with longing at winning one of these, but we're always glad when we're on the podium."
Bill Auberlen and Justin Marks won in a BMW, marking Auberlen's sixth straight class win, a new Grand American record. Mark Greenberg and Spencer Pumpelly were second in another Porsche.
The series now returns to Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. for a race this coming Friday in conjunction with a NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend.
For more information see: www.gleasonagency.com, www.theracersgroup.com, www.grandamerican.com and www.restartcommunications.com.