Mont-Tremblant: Chris Gleason race report

Gleason's Team Wins Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant Saturday MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, Canada, May 21 - Chris Gleason was part of the winning team in the Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant Rolex series race Saturday at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant here, but ...

Gleason's Team Wins Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant Saturday

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, Canada, May 21 - Chris Gleason was part of the winning team in the Six Hours of Mont-Tremblant Rolex series race Saturday at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant here, but unfortunately the Johnstown, Pa.-based driver didn't get the chance to drive in the race.

He tested the Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 No. 22 Thursday and Friday, but Gleason stoically passed when it was his turn to drive in the race because another pit stop for a driver change would have cost too many seconds in the pits, and would have thwarted his factory BMW's chance for the victory.

Gleason's teammates, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and Joey Hand of Sacramento, Calif., went on to bring the car home first, winning over the Synergy Racing Porsche of David Murry, Craig Stanton and Mae Van Wijk. Another Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 driven by Hand, Tom Milner and Justin Marks finished third.

The six-hour race was televised live on SPEED.

"The way it turned out, I didn't get to drive," Gleason said while his teammates sprayed champagne in victory lane. "Tom [Milner, the team owner] told me to put my helmet on for the last hour, but Murry was still on our lap and if we would have pitted to put me in the car we would have lost the race because of that pit stop. How could I have looked anybody on the team in the eye if we had done that? I told them to stay out and win the race, no matter what. It's just the way it developed, but I have to admit it hurts.

"The manufacturers' championship for BMW is the goal here, and with the two bad races we had at the beginning of the season, every point counts," Gleason continued. "I have a commitment to BMW and to Tom Milner to do everything I can to try to win that championship. I hope they see that I'm a team player. I had to fall on my sword, and I did. I don't have to like it, but it's all part of being a team player.

"I just wanted to win here so badly," he admitted. "I like this track very much and I love to race in the rain. I drove here on Thursday and Friday and I was very comfortable in the car. My times were comparable to the other guys. It's just what happens sometimes."

Although James qualified eighth, Gleason noted that things went much better during the race.

"We qualified eighth because we got a bad set of tires and it gave the car a bad understeer," he explained. "With new tires everything was fine. You could see how Ian took off at the start.

"We stripped some studs and had to fix that over the course of a couple of pit stops. That was our only real problem," he added.

The next race is at one of Gleason's favorite tracks, as another six-hour enduro is set for Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. June 10-12.

More information can be found on the team's Web site at ptgracing.com; at Gleason Inc.'s site at gleasoninc.com; at grandamerican.com; speedtv.com and restartcommunications.com.

-lm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Joey Hand , Ian James , Justin Marks , Chris Gleason , Craig Stanton , Mae Van Wijk