Leighton Reese 7th in World Challenge GT race at Portland International Raceway July 25, 2004 -- Portland Oregon -- In a race that saw multiple crashes Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, MN, limped to the finish line to a 7th place finish in...
Leighton Reese 7th in World Challenge GT race at Portland International Raceway
July 25, 2004 -- Portland Oregon -- In a race that saw multiple crashes Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, MN, limped to the finish line to a 7th place finish in Sunday's SPEED World Challenge GT race here at Portland International raceway in Oregon.
Reese was in a tight battle with Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas Texas, for 4th position and was scant seconds behind the race leader and eventual winner Tommy Archer of Duluth MN. But he had the engine in his Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette Z06 lose a cylinder and began losing ground to the leaders.
"The car developed a misfire with about 10 laps left in the race. It was something internal in the motor," said crew chief Joe Kantarik as he was, at the time, trying to find out exactly happened to the Banner Engineering Corvette. "The car was wounded long before anyone would notice it."
Reese started in 7th position and was soon solidly in 4th position as several collisions behind the leaders slowed the pace of the race. Just when it looked like Leighton might have enough to challenge the leaders his motor started losing power and he slowly faded to 5th but safely ahead of the pack in 6th position.
During the last two laps his engine problems got worse and he faded back some 16 seconds to finish in 7th place. Gigliotti also had mechanical difficulties and barely finished the race finishing 14th.
Leighton Reese would say after the race that, "We had a 4th place car today and we are of course disappointed but it (engine problem) could have happened on the 1st lap so at least we finished the race."
"We had a car that was pretty equal with McClure (3rd place finisher Phil McClure who also drives a Corvette)," said Kantarik. "Leighton gave me some good info and we adjusted the car for today's conditions."
The weather in the Portland area which was much hotter than normal had been in the 100's on Friday and Saturday for practice and qualifying but for Sunday's race the weather was much cooler and a bit overcast. This required the Banner Racing team to significantly change the setup of the car for the race. Based on Leighton's performance for much of the race Kantarik and his crew were right on the mark.
Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering Racing Team did a lot more than race at Portland as they played host to Banner CEO Bob Fayfield and several employees, customers and distributors of Banner products.
"We were, are always, thrilled to have the Banner family here with us this weekend," Leighton said after the race. "Having them here with us and sharing the race weekend makes it that much more fun!"
The Portland GT race including Leighton Reese, his Banner Engineering Chevrolet Corvette and the rest of the SPEED World Challenge GT Series can be seen on SPEED TV as today's race will be broadcast on August 1st at 1 PM Eastern Time.