VIR: Chris Gleason race report

Gleason and Teammates Finish Ninth in Class in VIR 400 Sunday ALTON, Va., Oct. 3 - Everything went fine for Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. during his stint behind the wheel of The Racers Group Porsche GT3 RS No. 66 Sunday in the VIR 400...

Gleason and Teammates Finish Ninth in Class in VIR 400 Sunday

ALTON, Va., Oct. 3 - Everything went fine for Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. during his stint behind the wheel of The Racers Group Porsche GT3 RS No. 66 Sunday in the VIR 400 presented by SunTrust at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass. had no real problems either during the middle stint for the car, which is sponsored by The Gleason Group, F1 Boston, Monster Cable and Adobe Road Winery. A possible podium finish disappeared late in the race, however, when the third driver, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla., was unavoidably involved in the event's biggest crash.

The official order of finish for the Rolex series race, which was televised live on SPEED, found Gleason and his teammates in ninth place in the GT class.

Gleason had qualified the car eighth on Saturday. He drove the first 20 laps, pitting under caution to let Valentine take over almost an hour into the two-hour-and-45-minute race.

The accident occurred on lap 60 of the 77-lap race, when James was behind the wheel. The Michael Shank Racing DORAN Lexus No. 6 made contact with the Southard Motorsports Fabcar BMW No. 7 and spun but continued. Upon re-entering the track the Shank No. 6 was collected by James' car and the Rx.com/G&W Motorsports DORAN BMW No. 81. Somehow James was able to make it back to the pits and all the drivers involved were uninjured.

The event, which was televised live on SPEED, was won by the SunTrust Riley Pontiac of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli.

Gleason was pleased with the way his stint went.

"The car was fine during my stint; the Racers Group guys did a nice set-up," he said. " At the start there was a giant traffic jam. I just gave myself some time to settle in and let things spread out. I did pass a couple of cars at the beginning.

"Our overall strategy for these last three races is to just keep the car on the track so Ian has something at the end. We want to get through these last three races without making any big mistakes so we'll be third in the championship at the end, and we're trying to conduct ourselves accordingly.

"It's a very technical track. We take the uphill esses around 140 or 145 mph, and they're one of the most challenging turns we have in our series."

Gleason's next race is right around the corner, as the circuit travels to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. next weekend. The season finale is Halloween weekend at California Speedway.

For more information see www.gleasonagency.com, www.theracersgroup.com, www.grandamerican.com, www.virclub.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Wayne Taylor , Ian James , Max Angelelli , Chris Gleason , R.J. Valentine , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing