WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., May 19 - Genesis Racing's BMWs finished second and seventh in the GT class Saturday in the Six Hours of the Glen Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International. Rick Fairbanks of Greenville,...
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., May 19 - Genesis Racing's BMWs finished second and seventh in the GT class Saturday in the Six Hours of the Glen Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International.
Rick Fairbanks of Greenville, S.C. and Chuck Goldsborough of Baltimore were tenth overall and second in the GT class in Genesis's National Paintball Supply BMW #10 in the race, which attracted 37 starters.
Their team car, Genesis's Gleason Financial BMW #7, was seventh in class and 16th overall. Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa., Marc Bunting of Baltimore and Adam Burrows of East Canaan, Conn., shared the driving duties in that entry.
Gleason qualified the #7 eighth in class and 16th overall on Friday during a qualifying session that was held in a downpour.
"There were a lot of full-course yellows during the qualifying session, which made it hard for anyone to get a clean lap," he noted Saturday morning before the race. "A lot of the faster Sports Racing Prototype cars qualified behind cars from some of the other classes, so the start of the race could be wild as they pass us."
The rulebook stipulates that the driver who qualifies must start the car, so Gleason drove the first stint.
"We had a fuel pick-up problem, and after we used about 12 gallons of fuel the car would start missing. I went to the reserve tank, but nothing helped," Gleason explained.
"We also developed radio problems; they could hear me but I couldn't hear them," he continued, referring to the Genesis pit crew.
"That problem screwed up our pit stops," he continued. "I flashed my lights going by the pits to try to tell them I was going to come in, but they didn't get the message. We had been running somewhere in the top 10, but after that problem we fell back to 15th place or something like that.
"We ran consistently, but we never got the car set up right because of the rain we had in practice and qualifying," he continued. "We had to fight the car all the time. It was just evil. The set-up wasn't right and the brakes weren't real good either. I did the last shift at the end, too. I had to come in for a splash and go during that stint.
"We all had to just drive around the problems and try to keep it on the pavement. We nursed it to the finish line, but we did finish and there is a lot to be said for that in a six-hour race."
The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth-place GT cars finished right behind each other in 14th though 18th place overall after the six-hour test over the Glen's 15-turn, 3.4-mile road course, showing how competitive the GT division is. The sixth, seventh and eighth-place cars all completed 154 laps.
"It hasn't been a very fun weekend so far, but maybe it'll be better in tomorrow's Grand Am Cup race," Gleason said optimistically. "I'm running in that event too, and that car qualified third in its class.
"After this weekend I have to focus on Le Mans, and that's exactly what I'm going to do," he added.
Gleason, Fairbanks and Germany's Claudia Hurtgen are scheduled to drive Roock Knight Hawk Racing's Lola B2K40 Nissan in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France June 16-17, the most prestigious sports car endurance race in the world.