Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R Second At Iowa Lewis Jr. And Reese Come Back Strong Leighton Reese and Tim Lewis Jr. driving the No. 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R finished second this afternoon at the new Iowa Speedway. The Grand-Am Rolex ...
Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R Second At Iowa
Lewis Jr. And Reese Come Back Strong
Leighton Reese and Tim Lewis Jr. driving the No. 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R finished second this afternoon at the new Iowa Speedway. The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve GT race was not as kind to their team car No. 07, which did not finish.
In qualifying held just two-hours prior to the race, Kelly Collins, in the Banner No. 07 Pontiac GXP.R, drove to pole position with a time of 45.465. Teammate Leighton Reese started right behind Collins in his No. 06 GXP.R in third.
At the start of the race the Pontiac pair were able to run one-two through the infield until Reese in the 06 was hit in the side by the 87 and spun through the tri-oval grass. Reese recovered and was relegated to the back of the 15-car field.
Collins continued to lead the race right up until turning the wheel over to co-driver Paul Edwards at the 45-minute mark. The Banner crew were able to get Edwards back out without losing the lead. On lap 95 while driving around under yellow, Edwards reported problems with the power steering. He pitted two-laps later and the team replaced the belt which drives the steering pump and the water pump. The heat and high-bank took its toll on the Pontiac LS2 motor with the loss of the belt, forcing the team to retire the 07 on lap 106.
"We had a really good car and led right from the green," Edwards said. "I think we had a piece of rubber from the track knock the belt off. Since that powers the water pump and the power steering the damage was done to the motor. That is tough when you have a car that was as good as we had and something like a $20 belt ruins your day."
Leighton Reese handed the 06 GXP.R over to co-driver Tim Lewis Jr. an-hour-and-nineteen-minutes into the race. Lewis proceeded to march through the field. In the last half-hour he drove the Pontiac to the second step of the podium, with only one-half-second separating him from the eventual winner.
"Leighton did a great job to recover form the contact on the first lap," Lewis said. "The car really came in for me half-way through my stint. When I first got in I had a lot of understeer and the car got better and better as the run went on. The Pontiac was awesome today. I was able to get around third and second fairly easily. I wore my car out catching the 66, ran out of time and tires at the end."
Drew Staveley and John Faulkner in the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R had a tough start to the two-and-one-half-hour race with a couple of spins early. Staveley eventually was able to bring the GXP.R home in tenth.
"The car was a handful when I got in," Staveley said. "The contact at the beginning of the race did some minor damage. The front right toe was knocked out and that affected the handling. There was also something broke on the rear. To make matters worse the power steering went out as well. So tomorrow I will be pretty sore."
-credit: gm racing