Leighton Reese qualifies 5th for Laguna Seca World Challenge GT race Monterey, California (October 15th 2005): Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, qualified the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 5th today for Sunday's SPEED World...
Leighton Reese qualifies 5th for Laguna Seca World Challenge GT race
Monterey, California (October 15th 2005): Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, qualified the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 5th today for Sunday's SPEED World Challenge GT race here at Laguna Seca after an eventful weekend where the team first chased the car setup and Friday night had to make a late night engine swap.
Normally a driver who has qualified for the pole position twice in the last three races wouldn't get all that excited about 5th position but after a weekend of chasing the car setup and a blown engine Reese and his crew were happy that they have come that close.
"Qualifying was a fantastic improvement, we have been battling a push all weekend, which is where you turn the car but it still goes straight," Leighton said of the Laguna Seca weekend thus far. "We have been having problems with front end grip. Locking tires and all sorts of things."
"We refreshed the brakes, softened the front end of the car a little added shock to the rear and a few other things and we had a great transformation today," Reese continued.
Of the late day motor change Leighton blamed himself saying, "Yesterday I ruined a motor by accident with a faulty downshift and the crew did a record motor change in about 2 and a half hours. I am really proud of the guys for sticking with me on that!"
The Banner Corvette was brought out for qualifying with some significant setup changes and a replaced motor and the Chevy never missed a beat.
"We didn't get to test the car or anything we just went out for qualifying," Leighton said with a smile. "It was the same motor we ran at Portland and it ran fantastically!"
But the work of a racing crew is seemingly never done as Leighton explained by saying, "Now we are changing the differential because it has a little leak. We think that the sag case got a little distorted and the seal fell off. It is under a lot of load especially due to the standing starts we do."
The plan is for Leighton and the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette to take an aggressive approach to tomorrows season ending race as Reese and his crew are searching for that elusive win.
"It is the last race of the year, so we are giving it everything we've got," Leighton said positively. "We are starting from a good position and I am really optimistic. If we have a clean race I think we will be right up front!"
"We just hope we can bring the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 home on the top spot of the podium tomorrow," Reese concluded. "I really feel like I owe Banner Engineering and my crew a win more than anything because we let a couple of good chances slip away from us and we have also had a run of bad luck like having Papis crash right in front of us when we had the pole at Mosport."
"We've definitely had the car to beat recently and I am happy with the car is running now although it has been a struggle to get here," Reese said with a big smile!
Round 11 of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Series will be held on Sunday October 16th at Laguna Seca. The race is scheduled to start at 1:50 PM Pacific time and will be shown on SPEED TV beginning at 5 PM Eastern time.