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Napleton Racing and Kevin Gleason Qualify Third For Pirelli World Challenge Season Opener in St. Petersburg

Brand New No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman S Quick off The Truck in First Laps with Gleason

St. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 22, 2013) – Quick off the truck and up to speed in its first laps ever run, Kevin Gleason qualified the brand new No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman S third fastest in the GTS class Friday in the season-opening Pirelli World Challenge Championships race weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Napleton and Gleason will contest the entire 2013 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship that begins with a doubleheader Saturday and Sunday in support of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IZOD IndyCar event. Pirelli World Challenge Round One from St. Petersburg is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, March 23, at 5 p.m. EDT while Round Two is set for this Sunday, March 24, at 10: 25 a.m. EDT. View live streaming of both races on World Challenge TV and the full weekend telecast on NBC Sports, Sunday, April 7th at 12:30 p.m. EDT/9:30 a.m. PDT.

After combing for a race win and a third-place showing in a doubleheader weekend last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Napleton and Gleason have reunited for a full-season 2013 effort. The new No. 16 Cayman S was built in just 19 days by the Napleton Racing crew and the team’s tight schedule didn’t allow for even a quick shakedown test before this weekend. The laps Gleason turned in practice this morning on the 1.8-mile airport and street circuit were the first ever for the No. 16 Cayman S.

“I feel good,” said Gleason, who clocked in at 1:21.169 (79.833 mph) in qualifying. “It has been a long off season and to qualify third is definitely starting the weekend off on a positive note. The car is holding up really well and came off the truck really well. Thanks to all of the guys at Napleton, they did a great job getting this car ready in time.”

Gleason visited the Napleton Racing shop, located within the grounds of leading Chicago-area Porsche dealership Napleton Porsche of Westmont, less than two weeks ago. The car he took a look at then, which was on the show floor at the Napleton Porsche dealership less a month ago, was a far cry from the race-prepared Porsche Cayman S he drove for the first time today.

“It was a chassis and roll cage then,” Gleason said. “That was it. I couldn’t believe that they were going to be able to get it done but they were confident, more than capable, really worked hard and put in a lot of long hours. They really put in a great effort to get this together and I can’t thank them enough.”

In addition to qualifying third, Gleason was also third fastest in this morning’s first practice and fifth quickest in the afternoon session.

“I am really looking forward to this year,” Gleason said. “It is all on my shoulders, I have a lot of confidence in the team. The car is prepped well, it’s ready to go so it is on me to get the job done. No co-driver in World Challenge, no pit stops, I just have to get down to business.”
 
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