Leighton Reese finished 8th after heavy contact in turn one multi car crash in Round 10 of SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT at Mosport Ontario, Canada: (September 3, 2005) Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, started his Banner Engineering...
Leighton Reese finished 8th after heavy contact in turn one multi car crash in Round 10 of SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT at Mosport
Ontario, Canada: (September 3, 2005) Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, started his Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 from the pole position but after a multi-car crash in turn one necessitated 5 pit stops Reese finished in 8th position here at Mosport Park in Ontario Canada.
Round 10 of the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Series got off to a dismal start here at Mosport Park in Ontario Canada as Team Cadillac driver Max Papis got a great start but spun his Cadillac in front of the entire field going into turn one.
Even before the field started luck was tuning bad as the field was left waiting on the starting grid while a stalled car was pulled from the track. This delay caused the clutch in the Banner Corvette to heat up resulting in Leighton moving prematurely out of the starting box which is a stop and go penalty.
Leighton got a decent start but Max Papis in the #16 got a monster jump from the second row splitting the front row Corvettes of Reese and Gigliotti and Papis headed down the hill into turn one.
As he got there Papis seemingly shifted into the wrong gear and locked up the rear end of his Cadillac turning it sideways in front of the entire field as they all came rocketing down into turn one.
"I could hear his rear tires chirping," said Reese. "Even inside of my car."
"I was going around so I just planted my foot to the floor to spin the car around," said Reese who was able to continue but he had a flat tire and significant body damage.
Reese made five pit stops during the ensuing caution period to clean up the 6 or 7 cars damaged in the ensuing melee in turn one in which the Banner Racing crew repaired a flat tire, bent rear suspension pieces and a badly mangled front end. The repair work was done in stages so that they could send Leighton back out onto the track before the pace car could put them a lap down.
"He (Leighton) thought that the suspension was broken but he had a flat," said crew chief Joe Kantarik. "So we bolted on the tire on and sent him back around. I knew that the toe was out so the next thing we went after was the toe. We got that fixed then we glued the front end back together. Everything sort of popped out so we tape and rivet it back. Then we had to work on covering that big hole in the headlight to get out aero back."
"He was telling me what it was doing on every pace lap," Kantarik continued. "He would come on the radio and say 'I've got a push, It is pushing now' so we would put some more tape on."
Reese would stay on the lead lap and when the race went green again Leighton was quickly up to 8th even after serving his stop and go penalty but he was hopelessly many seconds behind the leaders.
Reese, who had the fastest package all weekend was keeping pace (setting the fastest race lap of 1:24.835 in the process) with the leaders in his taped up Banner Corvette but was some 40 seconds behind in 8th. Reese desperately needed a caution that would never come and had to settle for 8th.
"I had a good car," Leighton said after the race. "Even after it was wounded it set the fastest lap of the race."
The GT race for the SPEED World Challenge Series is scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM Eastern Time. The race will be shown on the SPEED TV network on Saturday September 10th at 1 PM Eastern Time.
-scca pro racing-