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Road Atlanta: Leighton Reese race notes

Leighton Reese races to 7th at Road Atlanta in his Banner Engineering Corvette September 24, 2004 -- Braselton, Georgia - Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, MN, finished a strong 7th in Round 9 of the SPEED World Challenge GT race at Road Atlanta.

Leighton Reese races to 7th at Road Atlanta in his Banner Engineering Corvette

September 24, 2004 -- Braselton, Georgia - Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, MN, finished a strong 7th in Round 9 of the SPEED World Challenge GT race at Road Atlanta. The action packed race was won by Max Angelelli's factory Cadillac CTS-V who barely held off Robin Liddell's Porsche for victory.

"The Banner Engineering Corvette was good and I really didn't have any trouble so I guess 7th was all we had today," Leighton said with a shrug after the race. "I am a little disappointed at being only the third fastest (out of the 8 entered in the race) Corvette today."

Leighton Reese and his Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette staged a race long battle with Tommy Archer driver of the 3R Racing Dodge Viper, Andy Pilgrim in the Team Cadillac CTS-V and Michael Culver in the First Racing Porsche 911. Archer led the quartet of cars home and finishing 5th with Pilgrim and Reese ever so close behind..

In a clear demonstration of parity and what racing is all about the four drivers, try as they might, could never gain any advantage as the four of cars ran bumper to bumper for all 29 laps at average speeds in excess of 100 MPH. Culver did fall way back at the end when he got caught up in lapped traffic.

"I was dead even with Andy Pilgrim and Tommy Archer, Tommy was maybe holding us up a little before that yellow," Reese said. "I would give it everything I had and would maybe be able to get along side of Pilgrim on the back straight but getting along side and getting past are completely different things in this series!"

"The competition is really tight in SPEED World Challenge GT right now," Reese said of the very strong contingent of race cars competing in the GT series in 2004. "I am used to being in a series where there are maybe five, six or maybe seven really good cars but in there series there are twelve maybe even fifteen really strong cars all capable of finishing on the podium or even winning," Reese continued."

During the second restart Reese got a tremendous jump and had the Banner Corvette inside of Pilgrim's Cadillac but there wasn't quite enough room to pass.

"I have a lot of respect for the Cadillac guys and Andy and I certainly didn't want to take him out," Reese commented. "I saw Archer check up so it would have been a very risky pass. Sometimes you have to know when to go and when to fall back and finish the race."

"I kind of saved the tires the whole way and we were running a minute thirty something times and we thought that that was going to be a good pace," Reese said. "I think it was but we just had excellent parity with Tommy and Andy and a couple other guys."

Happy to have had a good clean race but a little discontented to have finished where he did Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering Racing Team will bring their potent Chevrolet Corvette to Laguna Seca for the series finale on October 15th looking to fight their way back to the podium in the hotly contested world of SPEED World Challenge GT racing.

Round 9 of the SPEED World Challenge GT Series will begin on Friday September 24th at 3:55 PM Eastern Time. The race can be seen at Sunday September 26th at 1:00 PM Eastern Time on the SPEED Network on tape replay.

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Robin Liddell , Tommy Archer , Leighton Reese , Max Angelelli , Michael Culver