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Sebring: Leighton Reese race report

Leighton Reese races Banner Engineering Corvette C-6 to 8th place finish in SPEED World Challenge GT Series event at Sebring Sebring, Florida: (March 18th, 2005) Leighton Reese of Minnetonka Minnesota drove his new Banner Engineering Chevrolet...

Leighton Reese races Banner Engineering Corvette C-6 to 8th place finish in SPEED World Challenge GT Series event at Sebring

Sebring, Florida: (March 18th, 2005) Leighton Reese of Minnetonka Minnesota drove his new Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6 to a hard fought 8th place finish in the SPEED World Challenge GT Series Friday at Sebring International Raceway.

Starting tenth on the 31 car grid Reese got a good start and had an early race battle with the Dodge Vipers of Mike McCann and Phil McClure and with Indy Car veteran Max Papis in the factory Cadillac CTS-V for 5th position but fell back from this group when the tires started to go away.

"Considering that we wounded our best bullet (engine) and had to spend so many long days getting the car ready and then fixing the car it was great to finish in the top ten and actually 8th," Reese said after the race.

"It was great to see all the Banner fans out here at the track today and I think we gave them a great show," Leighton continued.

After racing for several laps solidly in 8th position Reese came under attack from the Viper of Tim Wiens but Leighton's Banner Engineering Corvette had come back to him and Reese was able to pull away from Wiens and finish comfortably in 8th position.

"I started concentrating at the end because Tim Wiens was starting to challenge me for the position," Reese said. "When I did that I was able to pull back away from Wiens and secure 8th position."

"We needed a caution period to cool down the tires but we never got one," said Joe Kantarik crew chief for Leighton Reese's Banner Engineering Corvette. "When we got cloud cover later in the race the lap times actually went down."

The tires did recover somewhat, especially when the clouds came out and the fuel load was reduced and Leighton was able to keep pace with the leaders during the final 5 laps but was too far back to challenge for position.

"I was short shifting just trying to finish the race," Reese said after the race. "My crew did a great job just to get this car into the race!"

The 20 lap, 74 mile, SPEED World Challenge Series GT will be broadcast in it's entirety on Sunday March 27th at 2 PM Eastern Time on the SPEED Channel.

-www.LeightonReese.com.

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Series PWC
Drivers Max Papis , Leighton Reese , Phil McClure , Tim Wiens