Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering Corvette C-6 win pole for the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT at Portland Portland, Oregon: (July 30, 2005) Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, sizzled the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT...
Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering Corvette C-6 win pole for the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT at Portland
Portland, Oregon: (July 30, 2005) Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, sizzled the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT field with a qualifying time of 1:16.011 to capture the pole position for Sunday's GT race here at Portland International Raceway in Portland Oregon.
Reese even after setting the fastest laps in Friday's practice sessions still wasn't sure that he had enough to win the pole in the morning hours before qualifying saying, "I don't want to put any pressure on myself. I'm just going to drive it around and see what we can do!"
What he could do was better that the field by almost a half a second as he blasted the black and yellow Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette C6 around the Portland track in the relatively cool morning hours to win his first ever pole position in the World Challenge Series.
"The Banner Engineering Chevy Corvette was hooked up unbelievably well," Leighton Reese understated.
"We've been at this World Challenge stuff for a year and a half now and we are starting to get this thing figured out," said Leighton Reese with a huge smile.
"I got a good tip from my old ice racing buddy Peter Cunningham," Reese said after the session. "He came over to me, after he had just qualified in the session before us, and said your first timed lap it is going to stick like glue so just trust your tires and he banged on my doors for emphasis."
"I just tried to hit my marks and pick up the throttle early, I didn't try anything special. I was thinking that the Porsches were going to be faster and I was going to be totally happy if we got a top five. We don't know what is going on with everybody else but they are letting us get to the front so we're happy about it."
Reese was cautiously optimistic about the race on Sunday saying, "We've got unbelievably bad racing luck, we've had mechanicals, we've had accidents, we've had other people take us out and I've taken us out. If we can get a good podium we'll be happy. I don't want to set my sights low, I mean we've got a car that can win the race, we just need for everything to hold together."
"My crew chief Joe Kantarik and my crew have done a fantastic job this weekend," Reese said with a smile. "Just look at them. You do something good and it really fires these guys up!"
Kantarik just smiled as he had predicted that they could do a 16.2 in qualifying if everyone performed up to par! One would have to say that the Banner Racing Team broke par today at Portland!
The GT race for the SPEED World Challenge Series will headline Sunday's racing action at Portland and is scheduled to begin at 2:25 PM Pacific Time. The race will be shown on the SPEED TV network on Sunday August 7th at 3 PM Eastern Time.