Pirelli World Challenge - Gleason Race Preview
LEXINGTON, Aug. 3, 2012: Napleton Porsche and driver Kevin Gleason are debuting a brand-new Porsche Cayman S in this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the second Napleton-built Cayman to run in the competitive GTS class this year.
Napleton Porsche also built and maintained in the first half of the racing season the No. 68 Team Hot Wheels™ Porsche Cayman S that Jack Baldwin has put in contention for the GTS class championship, but the No. 60 is a 100% in-house effort from the race shop at the headquarters operation of Chicago-area Porsche dealer Napleton Porsche of Westmont.“Our plan has always been to build and field multiple Caymans in the Pirelli World Challenge and it was great that we were able to partner with Kevin Gleason in getting the No. 60 Napleton Porsche Cayman S on track this season,” said Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager Ron Barnaba. “The Team Hot Wheels™ Cayman S we built has been competitive at every race, won Long Beach, is in contention for the GTS championship, and we fully expect Kevin and our new ‘in-house’ effort to be equally as strong.”
Both the No. 60 and No. 68 are based on the popular Pirelli Cayman Interseries cars with modifications to meet Pirelli World Challenge GTS specifications. Napleton Porsche has built more than 60 Interseries cars and is also the operating organization of the third-year Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship series that is sanctioned by HSR.
Gleason was joined by his father Chris Gleason and brother Chris Gleason Jr. in February’s season-opening Pirelli Cayman Interseries race at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR). It was the racing family’s first taste of Cayman racing action but they quickly got up to speed. Kevin Gleason won a Friday night enduro during that event, his very first race start in the Interseries, and the elder Chris Gleason closed out the weekend with a win in the Sunday sprint. Kevin and his father also co-drove to a Pirelli Cayman Interseries enduro victory last month at Road America.
“We kind of just got into the Cayman Interseries as a fun thing for my Dad to get back on the track and race with his sons,” Kevin Gleason said. “It was a father-son have-fun type of deal but halfway through this year the idea came up about the World Challenge program. I noticed how well balanced the Interseries cars were, how much potential they had, and with the crew they had at Napleton it became more of an opportunity and something that we were interested in.”
Gleason put the No. 60 through its first Pirelli World Challenge event laps in a pair of test sessions Thursday at Mid-Ohio.
“It’s much fiercer in World Challenge,” Gleason said. “You have three classes to deal with in total and ours, GTS, is in the middle, so you have slower Touring cars and faster GT cars, but our first day went really well. The car came off the truck really well balanced and that’s due to the guys here at Napleton and their preparation in getting the car ready. Just a couple of minor tweaks and our baseline is good.”