Leighton Reese Road America preview

Trans-Am Race for the BF Goodrich Cup - Round 8 - Elkhart Lake, Wisc. Leighton Reese and Banner Engineering Racing Team Looking for Optimum Setup at Road America Eden Prairie, MN: (August 15th, 2001): Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering...

Trans-Am Race for the BF Goodrich Cup - Round 8 - Elkhart Lake, Wisc.

Leighton Reese and Banner Engineering Racing Team Looking for Optimum Setup at Road America

Eden Prairie, MN: (August 15th, 2001): Leighton Reese and the Banner Engineering Corvette racing team spent the past week looking for more speed and a setup package that will tame the four miles of high speed asphalt at the legendary Road America road course. Reese and the Banner Corvette will join almost 40 other drivers to compete in Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series, the Johnson Controls 100, here at the storied Elkhart Lake Wisconsin racetrack.

Road America is a track that demands an aerodynamic race car configuration that can provide enough down force to handle the high speed turns that set up the straits, and a slick enough body to allow adequate speed on 150MPH plus straits. But, down force is drag and drag limits speed.

"You got to have enough down force to get through the last turn," explained Joe Kantarik. "But have little enough drag so that the car flies up the front straight. Somewhere you have to find the balance between drag and down force. The same thing pretty much applies to the back straight as well, but if you don't get through the last turn well you won't do well at Road America."

The recent west coast races demonstrated to Reese and crew chief Joe Kantarik that more straight line speed would be needed to compete with the Jaguars that seem to be dominating the Trans-Am Series in 2001. To accomplish that end the team took their Chevy power plant to Tesar Engineering in a search for more power.

"Working with the Tesar guys we found some more horsepower," said Leighton Reese. "About eight I'd say, and we are going to need it at Road America. The Corvette isn't as slippery as the Grand Prix (last seasons race car) was."

Another thing learned in the last event at Portland Oregon was that the car seemed to go faster after the nose of the car had been damaged early in the race. So the team also spent time trying improve the aerodynamic configuration during the past week.

"We ran well here last year," said Kantarik. "Hopefully we can do that again this year, but those Jaguars have a great aero package and with those Ford engines they are tough to beat on the straight."

"As for our plans for this weekend," Joe concluded. "First we try to make the car handle and then work on taking away drag to improve our aero package."

This weekend's race, The Johnson Controls 100, is Round 8 for the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup and is part of a four-day race weekend at Road America beginning Thursday, Aug. 16 which will feature the powerful open-wheeled CART Fed-Ex Series. Milwaukee based Johnson Controls is a global market leader in automotive systems and facility management and control

-BERT-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Leighton Reese