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Contential Tire Series - Engine Trouble Spoils Gleason Brothers Run

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ELKHART LAKE, June 27, 2011: After winning the Street Turner class at the last Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event earlier this month at Watkins Glen, N.Y., the Gleason brothers had high hopes for Friday night’s two-hour-and-30-minute race at Road America. Unfortunately engine problems knocked them out of the competition 45 minutes into the race with just 14 laps complete on the 4-mile, 14-turn road course.

Chris Gleason Jr. of Wayne, Pa. was able to bring the No. 181 APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI onto pit road and didn’t cause a full-course yellow in the event. Understandably both he and his brother, Kevin Gleason of Johnstown, Pa., were disappointed with the 27th-place finish on Friday, but they don’t have long to wait until they can try for another podium finish for sponsors VW DriverGear, APR, BBS, Motul and DXD. The next race is July 8-9 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, Calif.

Chris Gleason Jr. qualified 11th Friday morning with a lap in 2:34.297 for an average speed of 94.446 miles per hour. That was about 4 seconds faster than the car’s fastest lap in practice, which was a 2:38.138 (92.152 mph).

He had dropped from 11th to 14th by lap two, but he rebounded to 12th on lap four by passing both Derek Whitis in the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 No. 25 and Chris Brown, who started the RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing BMW 328i No. 65.

A full-course yellow waved from laps six through nine, but the green waved again on lap 10 with 33 minutes complete. Gleason set his fastest lap of the race on lap 12 with a time of 2:35.572 (93.672 mph) while he was trying to catch Ron Farmer’s RSR Motorsports Mini Cooper while simultaneously holding off Brown’s BMW. He was just getting into a good rhythm when the engine problem occurred, and he reported to the pits.

From them on the brothers cheered on one of their team cars, as Ian Baas and Ryan Ellis went on to finish second in the APR Motorsport No. 171 after 43 laps of competition