Kevin Gleason is hoping for big things when the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge takes to Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park circuit on Memorial Day (23-24 May), as he prepares to part company with BimmerWorld Racing and move on to pastures new.
The 1.50mile Lime Rock Park circuit is a natural-terrain motorsport venue located in the Berkshire Hills of Lime Rock, Connecticut – a hamlet in the state’s North West corner.
In 2008, the scenic parkland track was comprehensively reconstructed. New asphalt was laid down and two new corner complexes added, while circuit owners went to great lengths to preserve the original, deceptively simple configuration that’s renowned for being immensely difficult to master and drive quickly.
Sportscar racing and Memorial Day have gone hand-in-hand at Lime Rock for almost 50 years and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will headline an action-packed weekend of racing with a pair of 2h30m-long contests for the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes on Saturday (24 May).
Gleason, meanwhile, has been presented with exciting new opportunities on the international stage that will take his career to the next level and is preparing to close this chapter with BimmerWorld Racing doused in Champagne.
“It has been a bit of an up and down year so far,” said Gleason. “We put some decent points on the board at Daytona and then were looking strong for a possible podium finish at Sebring when our motor let go. At Laguna we missed the setup, which held us back and limited us to 12th place but, beyond the results, it has been a positive experience personally, as I’ve learnt a lot while working with BimmerWorld Racing.
“I don’t think much of what we learnt at Laguna can be carried over to Lime Rock Park and with mostly right-hand turns, we will have a wild setup on the car. BimmerWorld has a successful history at the circuit and we learnt a lot from testing there earlier this year, so that should make us very competitive. However, Lime Rock is a fast track that requires a high level of concentration, with the sub-one-minute laps creating a recipe for hard, close racing and a lot of contact!
Gleason continued: “I’ve always run well at Lime Rock Park. My first ever race was in 2011 and I was able to qualify second and lead a lot of laps. Although it looks easy, it’s very difficult to be quick and consistent. History shows that the BMWs are strong there too. This will be my first experience of the circuit in this car, so it’s a bit of an unknown, but I believe the demands the circuit places on tyres will benefit us and our other rear-wheel-drive rivals. We will be shooting for a podium finish and I think that’s a reasonable goal to have. Spraying the Champagne would be very rewarding for the team.”