Johnstown, Pa.'s Gleason to race two BMWs at Trois-Rivieres this weekend. JOHNSTOWN, Pa., July 30 - Chris Gleason is off to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada this weekend for Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, which will be broadcast live on SPEED ...
Johnstown, Pa.'s Gleason to race two BMWs at Trois-Rivieres this weekend.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa., July 30 - Chris Gleason is off to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada this weekend for Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, which will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel beginning with a 45-minute season recap at 2 p.m. ET Saturday.
Everyone in Gleason's hometown of Johnstown, Pa. will be rooting for the popular insurance executive, and so will everyone who is a fan of BMWs. Gleason, president of Gleason Financial, plans to drive two different BMWs in two different races at Trois-Rivieres: the IMSA American Le Mans Series (ALMS) headliner on Saturday and the companion SCCA SPEED World Challenge race on Sunday.
Gleason will team up with Emil Assentato of Locust Valley, N.Y. in the Allegra Racing BMW M3 #10 in the Grand Touring (GT class) for the ALMS race on Saturday. They put that BMW on the podium at the Grand Am race at Watkins Glen, N.Y. earlier this month.
"We're a low-buck privateer team running against semi-factory teams with four or five times the budget, but we did well at the ALMS race in Washington a couple of weeks ago," Gleason noted. "At the end of the first hour we were fourth in class, and if it wouldn't have been for a puncture in one of our tires during the second hour of the race, we would have finished in the top five."
The following day Gleason will get behind the wheel of one of the duPont Motorsport BMW 325is cars for the SPEED World Challenge race.
"We'll see how it goes," Gleason said. "I like the course and I like that city, so I'm looking forward to having an exciting weekend."
The entire city of Trois-Rivieres can't help but get involved in one way or another in this race, since the 1.52-mile, 11-turn street course is designed on the city's streets.
"It's twisty and tight, and it should suit our BMWs well," Gleason noted.
Although this is the first time that the ALMS has run here, this is the 33rd v ersion of Trois-Rivieres' summer racing festival.
"I drove here in the Motorola Cup in 2000; I think I was second that year," Gleason said. "And then last year I ran a BMW in a Grand Am race here, and we qualified second. I even ran a Formula Atlantic here years ago."
Gleason was the co-Rookie-of-the-Year in Formula Atlantics in 1978.
Practice and qualifying for the ALMS event will be held on Friday, with Gleason's class qualifying at 2:40 p.m. The three-hour race will start at 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, see www.americanlemans.com and www.restartcommunications.-com.