T.P.I.S.'s Grand-Am engine in Leighton Reese's Banner Racing C-6 Corvette finishes 18th in class in their first Rolex 24 hours of Daytona.
70 cars make up the field combining both Daytona Prototypes and Grand-Ams. Leighton's team, consisting of Tommy Archer, Dino Crescentini, Russ Oasis and himself, qualified 11th in the 44 car grid and started the race off in good position. The first trouble started a half hour in when a mounting bolt worked loose on the left rear lower control arm, causing a 6 minute unscheduled pit stop and dropping them back to 31st place. 4 ¼ hours in and a faulty brake light switch had to be replaced before the race director issues a black flag, costing more precious time. Throughout the evening more troubles would arise every time they were working back up the field. A right rear wheel bearing would need replacing and shortly after they kicked the water pump belt off, twice. This caused more delay as they need to flush the cooling system and bring down the temperature of the engine before continuing. 21 hours and 500 laps in, the transmission had to be replaced costing almost an hour, but in the end the car had covered 2097 miles and 589 laps in the 24 hours and finished an impressive 18th for their first Rolex 24. Job well done for Leighton and his crew.
After a grueling 24 hours of hard racing, the engine was tore down and inspected. We found everything to be in excellent condition, which is incredible considering the massive overheating caused by the water pump belts. To see all the details of Leighton's race at Daytona and details of his up and coming 2006 race season, check out his website at www.leightonreese.com. We at T.P.I.S. look forward to powering the Banner Racing C-6 Corvette throughout the 2006 season.