Gleason's Car Suffers Electrical Problem in Iowa NEWTON, Iowa, April 21 - Although Chris Gleason and his usual co-driver, Bill Auberlen, were the point leaders going into Saturday's inaugural KONI Challenge GS race at Iowa Speedway, their ...
Gleason's Car Suffers Electrical Problem in Iowa
NEWTON, Iowa, April 21 - Although Chris Gleason and his usual co-driver, Bill Auberlen, were the point leaders going into Saturday's inaugural KONI Challenge GS race at Iowa Speedway, their championship hopes suffered a setback when the Turner Motorsport BMW M3 No. 96 suffered an electrical problem and dropped out of the 158-lap race with only 57 laps complete.
Auberlen wasn't even on the grounds of the 1.3-mile road course due to a previous commitment to race in Houston this weekend. Instead, Gleason's co-driver here was Jeff Altenburg of Ellicott City, Md., who was behind the wheel of the car when it stopped prematurely on the frontstretch, bringing out a full-course caution on lap 59.
The entry's official finishing position was 28th.
Five laps before the problem occurred Altenburg had run his fastest lap of the race, a 51.197 for an average speed of 91.412 miles per hour. He was in 19th place at the time.
Gleason, of Johnstown, Pa., qualified the car in 19th place out of 34 contenders and he drove the first 42 laps before pitting to let Altenburg take over with 40 minutes complete.
The race was the third of 12 in a series that started in January and doesn't end until October, so hopes are still high for a good finish for Gleason and his team in the final point standings.
The next KONI Challenge race is May 17-20 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterrey, Calif.
For more information, see grand-am.com.
Gleason's post-race quote follows:
"We had an electrical failure; it was a bad switch or something. It's devastating to our championship hopes really, but you have to take the bad with the good. It's part of the game.
"We struggled with the car this weekend. We couldn't get it to handle. Boris [Said] suggested increasing the wedge in the right rear, and that helped.
"The car was very good in the race. I got a good start. I was up to 12th or 13th, and I had some spirited contests. There was a little bumping going on here and there. I got a warning once from the officials.
"What can you say? This DNF sets us back. We were just looking for a top-10 here, but I guess it wasn't to be. We'll have to look ahead and just continue to try our best."
-credit: restart communications