Eden Prairie, MN: (October 1st, 2001): Leighton Reese and the Trans-Am Series will finish out the quest for the 2001 BF Goodrich Cup on the cement lined street course in Houston Texas. Reese, is hoping to extend his recent run of top five...
Eden Prairie, MN: (October 1st, 2001): Leighton Reese and the Trans-Am Series will finish out the quest for the 2001 BF Goodrich Cup on the cement lined street course in Houston Texas. Reese, is hoping to extend his recent run of top five finishes this season and past great runs at Houston. Having moved into the top ten in championship points he feels that nothing has been settled yet, as a bad outing in Texas can ruin the whole season.
"Our goal is to move up to the ninth position in the standings and finish with a strong run," Reese said simply. "I feel that we can do that, but I have to drive a smart race and stay out of trouble. I am planning to be super aggressive, but we absolutely have to finish!"
Leighton Reese wouldn't give away any setup secrets he and crew chief Joe Kantarik have in store for Houston but he would say, "I think we will have a good car for the Houston race. We went to our local circle track and went faster than we ever have there and I think we will have a great setup for the Houston track. One of the critical elements for success will be if we can get the car to get to back racing speed after caution periods."
Reese has raced the Banner Engineering Corvette to three successive 4th place finishes and had top ten finishes in all but one race he has run this season. Additionally, he has historically done well at Houston, so confidence is high. But that confidence is tempered with the knowledge that Houston can be a disaster for the unwary and unprepared.
Holding the final race of the season on a street course could add to the mayhem and attrition that usually accompany street races. The bumpy surfaces found on city streets create extra strain and stress on the equipment, while late season desires for success that lead to aggressive passes are a recipe for trouble. If something breaks or wobbles, or if someone makes any kind of driving error, the concrete lined race course is usually very unforgiving.
"Driving a Trans-Am car on a street course, like Houston, is like driving 100 miles an hour through a highway construction zone," Reese explained. "There is no place to go if something goes wrong!"
"I plan to be super aggressive during this race," Reese continued. "But, we absolutely must finish. I need to qualify well to be ahead of as much of the trouble as possible."
Houston is the home of the Specialty Chemicals Division of Phillips 66 who manufacture the Phillips 66 racing fuel Leighton Reese has depended on since 1994. Leighton Reese is expecting a large contingent from Phillips 66 to be enjoying the race weekend so there will be added incentive to perform well. Not only does the Specialty Chemicals Division produce great racing fuels, they are one of the worlds leading suppliers of raw plastics materials.
The Leighton Reese's Banner Engineering Corvette and the rest of the snarling Trans-Am field will start racing on the streets of Houston on Saturday October 6th at 3:15 local time. The race can be seen on tape delayed basis on Saturday, October 13th at 2 p.m. eastern time.