Detroit, Michigan: Leighton Reese will make his long awaited return to the Trans-Am Series on the picturesque Belle Isle track at Detroit. Reese, comes to the Motor City 100 presented by Johnson Controls with no points, no starts and zero miles...
Detroit, Michigan: Leighton Reese will make his long awaited return to the Trans-Am Series on the picturesque Belle Isle track at Detroit. Reese, comes to the Motor City 100 presented by Johnson Controls with no points, no starts and zero miles driven. And, since his Banner Engineering Corvette was nearly totally destroyed at the last race, this weekend will be like the opening race of the season for both the driver and car.
"I haven't been this excited before a race in a long, long time," Reese commented. "We are here at the track and still putting the decals on the car, but we are all set to go."
Reese, who was seriously injured in an off season skiing accident, said he is ready to go. "I feel good," Leighton said. "The muscles damaged in the accident shouldn't be taxed that much. Hopefully I won't fall on my face or wreck!"
This isn't Reese's first time in the car however. He did several laps on the short Raceway Park oval track in Shakopee, MN. The car tested well and was neutral while running in both directions.
"We wanted to check the car out and do systems checks," Reese explained. "The car was good, but I couldn't go higher than 3rd gear so we will know a lot more on Friday when we practice and qualify."
The driver wasn't the only thing needing a shakedown since the team had to replace virtually every moving part on the car and totally rebuild the front half of the car after a 100MPH encounter with a cement wall at Mosport. Crew Chief Joe Kantarik and the crew worked long hours for many, many days to rebuild the car.
"It's like starting the season all over again," commented Kantarik. "We moved some weight around and the car is better than it was at Sebring (the season opening race). Leighton likes this track so it is a good place to make his comeback."
The race will be the 395th in the Trans-Am Series illustrious 36-year history and will be broadcast by CBS Sports on June 17 at 5:00 (EDT). This will be the first major network appearance for the Series and the 18th appearance by the Trans-Am Series at the Detroit Grand Prix
"I am psyched up about the coverage on CBS," Reese concluded. "It should be a great show!"