With his best result of the FIA World Touring Car Championship secured at Ningbo International Speedpark last time out, RC Motorsport racer Kevin Gleason reflects on his race weekend and looks forward to the forthcoming round which takes place this weekend (28-29 October) at Twin Ring Motegi.
Gleason had an impressive run in qualifying only for an engine issue to curtail his running in the second round of qualifying, while race day saw a power steering failure hamper his chances of further progress through the field. Despite this, Gleason secured a strong seventh place finish in the opening race, followed by a tenth in the main – effectively washed out – race.
You scored your best result of the season in China, you must be delighted with the progress made there?
“I had a lot of frustrations leading up to China so to make it through to Q2 and score points was a step in the right direction that I can be somewhat happy about. I hope to continue with this progress in Japan and take another step forward.”
Qualifying in China was tough for you… You made it into Q2 only to suffer an engine issue. How do you think that affected your race?
“Although I made it to Q2 and scored my best result I feel that this was the most frustrating weekend for me. Not being able to turn a lap in Q2 when I was confident in having top ten pace derailed the weekend. I felt this was my weekend to make something happen with the reverse grid so in my mind it was a missed opportunity.”
The race itself saw you chasing the two works Hondas for position.. that must have felt good, especially given that you were battling steering issues?
“The power steering issue was unfortunate and it made me struggle. I was inconsistent in my laps due to it, so my pace was really good but I struggled to put it all together. It was nice to stick with the factory Honda’s for a few laps after the safety car but in the end, I just had to try and get to the finish without losing any positions.”
It’s not been long since the last round at Ningbo, have you enjoyed a good break out in Asia?
“It would have been too difficult to return to the US after Ningbo with the hours of travel and time change so it’s been nice to stay in Asia. I used hotel points for a free week stay in Taipei so it was cool to explore a new Country and City. I was able to get a lot of work done, exercise, and rest so I feel I will be more prepared than if I had to travel from the states!”
We’re heading to Motegi now, have you raced there before?
“I have never raced at Motegi so I am looking forward to checking another track off the list. Japan is an amazing country so I am excited and thankful that I get the opportunity to race there…”