Watkins Glen: Chris Gleason race report

Gleason and Teammates Get Fourth in Class in Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen Sunday WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 20 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. and his co-drivers, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass., finished ...

Gleason and Teammates Get Fourth in Class in Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen Sunday

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 20 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. and his co-drivers, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass., finished fourth in the GT class in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, a Grand American Rolex Series race held on Sunday at Watkins Glen International.

The trio was 15th overall in The Racers Group Porsche GT3 RS #66, which is sponsored by The Gleason Group, F1 Boston, Monster Cable and Adobe Road Winery. They were on the same lap as the third-place class finisher, which was just one spot ahead of them in 14th overall with 155 laps completed around the 3.4-mile road course in the event's six-hour time span.

James started 20th in the 44-car field and had pretty smooth sailing until just before the two-hour mark, when he suffered a flat right-rear tire on the backstretch while running third in class.

"Ian was far from the pits when it happened, so he took a little short cut to get back to the pits," Gleason explained later. "You're allowed to do that, but you immediately lose a lap as a penalty."

The tire replaced, Gleason got in at that point and drove for about an hour and 45 minutes. Most of the time he was in fifth place in class during his stint. Two-thirds of the way through the race the team had advanced to fourth, which is where it finished.

"Ian was running laps in 1:55.3 and I was consistently running 1:56.3 laps, so I was pretty pleased with that," said Gleason. "My times were consistent, which is important.

"I was in the car for about an hour and 45 or 50 minutes, and when I was in the car it was great," he added. "The Racers Group does a great job. You can't turn those kinds of laps if the car isn't prepared well.

"I always love racing at Watkins Glen," Gleason added. "It has different camber changes and it's a very technical course. It's the kind of track that I was brought up on, and I always enjoy coming here.

"Our goal is always to be on the podium," he summarized. "We fell a little short of that today, but fourth place is still good. We got the points for fourth, and we're still in good shape in the points race. Bill Auberlen and Boris Said are running away with it with their BMW, but I still think we're in pretty good shape in the points.

"Now we go back to Daytona to run under the lights on July 1, and I'm looking forward to that too."

For more information see www.gleasonagency.com, www.theracersgroup.com, www.grandamerican.com, www.f1boston.com, www.theglen.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Ian James , Chris Gleason , R.J. Valentine