Kevin Gleason will start his #80 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i from 11th position in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (3-4 May).
After having a very tough time of it in practice one and two, Gleason and the Virginia-based BimmerWorld Racing outfit were hoping to land a top ten in qualifying but came up a little short.
The weekend’s first practice session didn’t quite go to plan for Gleason and his teammate Corey Fergus, as they both struggled to find grip and pace against the competition, ending up in 13th with a best time of 1m41.274s.
A lack of grip continued to plague the #80 machine in free practice two, although there was a significant improvement in qualifying and a time of 1m41.188s was only six thousandths of a second from the desired top ten, but proved sufficient for 11th on the grid.
“Throughout both practice sessions we kept having tire problems and made some changes in the setup to see if the car improved, and we just kept having grip problems,” said Gleason. “I would have liked to be in the top ten in qualifying, but we are not in such a bad position. I don’t think the BMWs have the overall pace that other cars have, but we are strong over the duration of the race where we are really good on the tires. I think the setup is good for the long run rather than a single hot lap. In addition, there tends to be a lot of attrition and traffic on this track and, if we simply execute and run our own race, we will be there at the end.”