Miami: Chris Gleason race notes

Gleason out early at Miami with broken half-shaft. MIAMI, Oct. 6 - Although Chris Gleason qualified seventh in the GT class Friday at the Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge race on the temporary street course in downtown Miami, Saturday's ...

Gleason out early at Miami with broken half-shaft.

MIAMI, Oct. 6 - Although Chris Gleason qualified seventh in the GT class Friday at the Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge race on the temporary street course in downtown Miami, Saturday's American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race didn't go well for the popular Johnstown, Pa. driver and his teammate, Emil Assentato of Locust Valley, N.Y.

Unfortunately their car's half-shaft broke early in the race. Gleason was able to bring the car to a halt without crashing, but the team ended up with a tenth-place finish in the GT class and 34th overall.

"We qualified very well; we were only one-hundred of a second off sixth place in the GT class. The race didn't go well for us though," Gleason said afterwards.

"The race itself started well; I passed two Porsches in the first couple of laps and moved up to sixth place in class," Gleason continued. "Then, coming down the turn by the straightaway, my half-shaft snapped, and unfortunately I had to pull off at the end of the straightaway and park the car.

"It's just one of those things that happens in racing," Gleason added. "Nobody is to blame; there's no fault; it's just a mechanical failure. But we worked hard all weekend, so it's very disappointing."

The temporary course was shortened from 1.57 miles to 1.387 miles before the two-hour, 45-minute race. It still had 15 turns, however, so it was extremely tight.

"It was a very challenging course; very tight; very unforgiving," Gleason said. "They had problems with the surface in four of the turns, and those turns were very dangerous. They had recently applied new asphalt to those turns, and with the heat and the cars pounding it, those turns became very slick and slippery. The other BMW in the race wrecked in one of the turns, pretty severely. Neither one of us finished; we were both out in the first 15 minutes of the race. So it wasn't a good day for BMW."

There's always another race, and Gleason doesn't have long to wait for his. He's scheduled to compete in the same BMW in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta next weekend.

"We move on to the Petit Le Mans next week, and hope for better results there," Gleason concluded. "That's racing!"

Saturday's race was televised live on SPEED Channel. Next Saturday's race at Road Atlanta will be broadcast live on the same network beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Emil Assentato , Chris Gleason