Chris Gleason qualifying at Sebring

Gleason Helps Work on Set-ups Thursday at Sebring SEBRING, Fla., March 14 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. had his hands full Thursday at Sebring International Raceway in both the Porsche and the BMW he's driving during the Mobil 1 12 Hours of...

Gleason Helps Work on Set-ups Thursday at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla., March 14 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. had his hands full Thursday at Sebring International Raceway in both the Porsche and the BMW he's driving during the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring weekend.

Gleason is teamed up with Raul Dawson of Geneva, Switzerland and Rob Wilson of London in the Cirtek Porsche 911 GT3R for the 12 Hours of Sebring, which will be broadcast live on Speed Channel beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

He's also driving the duPont Motorsport BMW 325is #53 in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship race here, a 50-minute event which is slated to get the green flag at 1:15 p.m. tomorrow.

Both teams have been facing challenges at Sebring since they arrived.

"One of my teammates had the misfortune to back the Porsche into a barrier this morning before I got in the car, and the team has been working hard not only making repairs but also doing the set-up on the fly," Gleason explained. "Rob [Wilson] qualified the car and he was forced to use qualifying as a practice session because of that setback," he continued. "When I was in the car the rear-end was evil, but the car is improving and we can still be OK. In a 12-hour race, it doesn't matter where you start.

"We used tonight's night practice session as another development session, and my little stint turned out to be the fastest tonight," he added. "I thought the car handled pretty well tonight. It oversteered a bit, but the engine and the brakes were good. We've just been trying to get the car back the way it was before the accident."

For the record, the Porsche will start 54th Saturday.

Things have been interesting over in the World Challenge garage area too.

"The car arrived at the track late, and frankly when I got in it for the first time, the handling was diabolical," Gleason related. "I couldn't control the rear end, and I half spun three times. Let's just say it's a work in progress.

"We made some changes in qualifying and used qualifying today as a practice session, and I did qualify 20th out of 50 cars," he added. "We have to work on the rear brakes; if they're like they were today for tomorrow's race, I'll wind up backing into a guardrail somewhere. And with no warm-up session before the race, I won't really know what we have until the green flag drops, so that's going to be interesting!"

Gleason's official qualifying speed in the BMW was an average of 86.473 mph. Other drivers in duPont Motorsport cars qualified 13th (Neal Sapp), 21st (Rick Gilhart) and 40th (Raan Rodriquez).

"Maybe Rick and I can work together and make our way up through the field," Gleason added with a smile.

-linda mansfield-

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About this article
Series ALMS , PWC
Drivers Rick Gilhart , Chris Gleason