Kevin Gleason made his FIA World Touring Car Championship debut at Monza in Italy this weekend (29-30 April, 2017) and despite the lateness of the deal to drive the RC Motorsports TC1 Lada Vesta, the American made the best of the opportunity with solid finishes and points on the World Championship scoreboard.
Gleason, who gained touring car experience in the TCR International Championship in 2015 and 2016 driving for the Swedish WestCoast Racing outfit, made the switch to the WTCC and was in at the deep end driving a TC1 car in the dry for the first time in Saturday’s free practice session on the high-speed Monza circuit.
Building in confidence and pace as the weekend progressed, Gleason drove two clean and error-free races, claiming his first points in race one with ninth position overall and sixth in the Independent Trophy for non-manufacturer teams. Gleason is the first American racer to do so in the FIA World Championship in its 13-year history.
“Its been a bit of a whirlwind this week,” said Gleason, “I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the series have made me feel extremely welcome.
“I am pleased to have got these two races under my belt and have learned about the car, the team and especially the technique of driving these cars as the meeting progressed.
“I would like to think that I can get further up the field in my next outing which will hopefully be the next round of the Championship in Budapest, Hungary in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Following his positive debut, Gleason is hoping to conclude a deal to continue in the 10-round championship.