PORTLAND, Ore. (July 29, 2005) – For the second-straight race, Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka, Minn., topped the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship practice sheets, this time in preparation for Sunday’s Round Eight race, part of the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway.-30-
Fellow Corvette pilot Dino Crescentini, of Malibu, Calif., and Michael McCann, of N. Canton, Ohio, completed the top three.
Driving the No. 6 Banner Engineering Chevrolet C6, Reese turned a lap of 1:17.071 (91.738 mph) around the 12-turn, 1.964-mile circuit in the cooler morning session. His lap was just 0.029-second better than Crescentini, who is piloting Lou Gigliotti’s race-winning No. 28 LG Pro Long Tube Header/Centric Parts Corvette C6 from two weeks ago at Infineon Raceway.
“We’ve been at this World Challenge stuff for a year and a half now and we are starting to get this thing figured out,” Reese said with a huge smile.
“Infineon was a heart breaker,” he said of the last race where the slightest contact pretty much ended the day for the Banner Corvette. “We definitely have to turn our ‘fast-ness’ into a podium finish here!”
McCann, coming off his career-best fourth-place finish at Infineon in his No. 82 McCann Plastics/K&N Filters Dodge Viper, ran a fast lap of 1:17.323 (91.439 mph) in the opening session. Scotland’s Robin Liddell slotted into fourth on the day, running the afternoon’s fastest time of 1:17.323 (91.428 mph) in his No. 66 AXA Financial/PFAFF Porsche 911 Cup.
Liddell and his Jon Groom Racing rebounded from a morning pit lane incident in which crew member Tivadar Heinlein sustained burns to his face, necessitating transportation to Emanuel Hospital. The team will continue to race this weekend, with thoughts on their injured teammate, who begins his recovery.
Wolf Henzler was fifth fastest on the day in his No. 55 Applied Materials/Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 Cup after turning a lap of 1:17.878 (90.788 mph) in the morning session.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race is set for Saturday morning at 10:10 a.m. (PDT). Sunday’s race is scheduled to make its standing start at 2:25 p.m. (PDT). Live timing and scoring for all sessions is available at www.world-challenge.com.
Sunday’s race will be broadcast Sunday, Aug. 7 at 3 p.m. (EDT), 12 p.m. locally.
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