By leading the first two laps of this race Leighton became the first Corvette driver to lead a World Challenge GT race in the last 23 races. Due to an engine misfire Reese would fall back to a 4th place finish. Leighton Reese and the Banner ...
By leading the first two laps of this race Leighton became the first Corvette driver to lead a World Challenge GT race in the last 23 races. Due to an engine misfire Reese would fall back to a 4th place finish.
Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering Corvette C-6 finish 4th in wild SPEED World Challenge GT Series at Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio: (June 26, 2005) Leighton Reese of Minnetonka Minnesota started 7th and after a wild tangle in turn one he and his Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette C6 were blasting away in first place before the SPEED World Challenge GT field reached turn 2.
The 'Bake at the Lake', or the SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World Challenge GT race at Cleveland started with a bang and ended with the closest race in World Challenge history as Robin Liddell held off a last turn run from Max Angelelli to flash under the starter's stand to win his first WC win by a scant .038 seconds.
In a race that had almost everything Leighton Reese battled the heat, a misfiring engine and prevailed to finish 4th in the SPEED World Challenge GT race this weekend at Burke Lakefront Airfield in Cleveland Ohio.
The race started with a bang as Tommy Archer came into turn one too hot and clipped the two lead cars of Max Papis and Wolf Henzler which sent the field scattering looking for safe real estate. While most of the cars made it through the mess Leighton Reese came out the big winner in the deal.
Of the start Leighton said, "Archer passed me on the start, he turned down into me and took me all the way over to the dirt. Then he couldn't whoa it down when he got to turn one. There were already guys turning and he couldn't whoa it down."
"I turned the corner and I was like, whoa blue sky," Reese exclaimed with his biggest smile! "Go little Poncho go! Run little doggie!"
Reese led the race for the first two laps becoming the first Chevy Corvette to lead a World Challenge GT race in the last 23 events dating back to May of 2003.
"I couldn't get through the turn 9/10 chicane real fast," Leighton recalled. "I kept slipping on the temporary concrete patch they put down right before the start of the race. I slipped going through there and that gave Liddell the momentum to drive past me on the straight!"
"After Liddell got by me I was following him closely but 8 or 9 laps into the deal we had the misfire again," said Reese. "This little gremlin we've been chasing all weekend and it came back!"
"That was when Angelelli and Pilgrim got by me," Reese said philosophically. "Then the yellow came out and after five laps of yellow the miss went away. What ever is causing seems to be heat related. We had awesome power again when we went back to green and I would say that the gremlin raised its ugly head after 3 or 4 laps and I just held on for 4th place."
Overall the team was happy with the race weekend at Cleveland even though the phantom misfire probably robbed them of a podium finish and even a possible win as Reese was easily able to race with the race winner Liddell and the two podium finishing Cadillacs of Angelelli and Pilgrim while the Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette was running on all eight cylinders.
Note should be made that there was nothing mechanically wrong with the Chevy engine the problem was electronically related and was brought on by excessive heat.
"The Banner Corvette was awesome all weekend when we didn't have the electrical problem," Leighton said late on Sunday.
This problem was very, very difficult to locate because when the car was brought back into the paddock to try to locate the cause of the problem the car had cooled enough that the problem went away and the car couldn't be heated up enough just running in the paddock to create the problem.
You can follow all of the racing action for Leighton Reese and Banner Racing at www.LeightonReese.com.