The fates may have conspired against Kevin Gleason in the Italian leg of the TCR International Series, but the American touring car racer is banking on an upturn in fortunes as the championship moves on to the scenic Salzburgring in Austria (30-31 May).
Fresh from his Portuguese podium success, 28-year old Gleason had hoped for a solid weekend in Italy, but punctures in qualifying and the races thwarted his challenge.
The Philadelphia resident looked quick in qualifying but a tyre deflation at the super-fast Lesmo 1 turn resigned him to the back of the grid and left him with an uphill struggle in Sunday’s (24 May) races.
However, Gleason tried to make the best of the situation and recovered impeccably, setting fastest laps to break into the top six in both races, until a puncture once again robbed him of a result on the high-speed Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix circuit.
Wanting to bounce back from a trying weekend, Gleason is targeting strong points finishes as the TCR International Series moves straight on to Austria and believes his Honda Civic TCR will be a strong package, particularly through the Salzburgring’s high-speed turns.
“I’m hoping for more luck at the Salzburgring following a challenging weekend in Italy, although I was able to take a lot of positives away from Monza having set the fastest laps in both races,” said Gleason. “WestCoast Racing did a great job fixing the car after my qualifying incident and we were quick, particularly through the high-speed stuff.
“I’m obviously hoping to fight at the front at the Salzburgring, as it has long straights and fast corners that should play to the Honda Civic TCR’s strengths. Of course, Gianni (Morbidelli) had to work really hard for his wins at Monza, but he’s strong wherever he goes and Igor (Skuz) had his best weekend to date, so they’re going to be tough to beat. I have no doubt that the rest of the competition will be right up there too and I’m expecting another hard-fought weekend.”