Homestead II: Chris Gleason race report

Gleason and Teammates Finish Second in Class in Miami 250 Sunday HOMESTEAD, Fla., Sept. 19 - The Racer's Group Porsches finished first and second in the GT class in the Miami 250 Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The one that Chris Gleason ...

Gleason and Teammates Finish Second in Class in Miami 250 Sunday

HOMESTEAD, Fla., Sept. 19 - The Racer's Group Porsches finished first and second in the GT class in the Miami 250 Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The one that Chris Gleason drove along with Ian James and R.J. Valentine was second, and the trio gained valuable points over the two BMW drivers who finished behind them here but still lead them in the Rolex series GT point standings.

Unofficially those standings following Sunday's two-hour-and-45-minute race, which was televised live on SPEED, has Bill Auberlen leading with 278 points followed by Boris Said with 277 and Gleason and his teammates tied for third with 257. Three races remain, with the next one being at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Oct. 1-3.

At the checkered on Sunday the No. 66 Porsche GT3 RS that Gleason, Valentine and James drove was just a little more than a second behind their team car, the No. 67 of Kevin Buckler and Tom Nastasi, which won the class. The No. 66 actually ran a faster lap than the No. 67 during the race, turning the 2.3-mile road course one time in just 1:20.224.

The No. 66 is sponsored by The Gleason Group, F1 Boston, Monster Cable and Adobe Road Winery.

Valentine, of Hingham, Mass., started the race. Gleason, of Johnstown, Pa., drove second and James, of Kissimmee, Fla., brought the car home.

Gleason's post-race quote follows:

"We ended up second. We could have won though. There was a full-course yellow and we had a misunderstanding, and R.J. came right into the pits without the pace car coming out and it cost us two laps.

"My stint was good. I was upset about our problem but I just told myself to relax and have fun. The car was terrific; I had a battle with both the top BMWs for about 20 laps, which was the first battle with them that I've had all year. That was terrific.

"Both BMWs had problems, so that helped us in the points.  Racers Group
Porsches finished one-two, which is terrific.  Kevin and Tom ran a flawless race.

"I'm not sure where we are in the points now. Auberlen's car had engine problems and I think Said's car had gearbox problems.

"We just hung in there.

"I drove for about 30 laps.  I drove second and I felt my lap times were
great.  Then Ian got in the car and his lap times were terrific.

"When we dropped back to sixth early in the race I never thought that we'd get on the podium, let alone second, but we did. I'm still yearning for that top spot on the podium though. I think about it all the time.

"In practice yesterday I had a right-rear tire blow in the banking going about 160 and I spun about 10 times. I kept turning the wheel trying to get it straightened out.

"Then today on one of the restarts going into turn one, two Daytona Prototypes spun right in front of me. So I was dodging Daytona Prototypes, which was wild.

"But I really enjoyed the dice I had with the BMWs. I led them for awhile and then they led for awhile; it was fun!"

For more information see: www.gleasonagency.com, www.theracersgroup.com, www.grandamerican.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Bill Auberlen , Kevin Buckler , Ian James , Tom Nastasi , Chris Gleason , R.J. Valentine