Road Atlanta: Chris Gleason race notes

Gleason's BMW drops out of Petit Le Mans with mechanical problems. BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 12 - Everything was going as planned for the team Chris Gleason was part of in today's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta until the Alegra Motorsports BMW...

Gleason's BMW drops out of Petit Le Mans with mechanical problems.

BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 12 - Everything was going as planned for the team Chris Gleason was part of in today's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta until the Alegra Motorsports BMW developed mechanical difficulties while Nick Longhi was doing his first stint.

Gleason, of Johnstown, Pa.; Longhi; and the driver who did the second stint, Emil Assentato, ended up 15th in the GT class and 42nd overall in the 1,000-mile enduro, which was broadcast live on SPEED Channel.

As expected, a Porsche 911 won the GT class. That car was driven by Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen. The top three in the class finished 14th, 15th and 16th overall according to the provisional results posted Saturday night.

"We were out about three hours into the race," Gleason said by telephone Saturday afternoon. "Everything was running smoothly, and then the whole engine just shut off. It must be something wrong with the electronics or something; I don't know.

"I started the race and then there was a full-course yellow, so I spent about an hour and 45 minutes in the car," Gleason continued. "It was pretty difficult because my water bottle didn't work so I couldn't get any fluids. But I hung in there.

"We were right on our game plan, running in the low 1:30s and just staying out of trouble. I had a couple close calls with two of the Audis when they were passing me, but other than that everything was fine.

"The brakes were giving us a little problem though; we had a long pedal. But everything seemed fine.

"Emil got in the car second, and he did a little over an hour. He was right on target with his laps times.

"Then Nick got in the car, and by that time the field had started to back up towards us, which was all part of our plan. When the Porsche teams put in their slower drivers, we start to move up through the field. I think we were up to 12th in class or something.

"But then the car just lost power, and that was it. We were hopeful, but it just didn't work out for us today like we hoped.

"It's all part of racing," Gleason concluded philosophically.

-cgr/lm-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Emil Assentato , Nick Longhi , Sascha Maassen , Chris Gleason