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Napleton Racing and Kevin Gleason Return To Pirelli World Championships for Full-Season Effort with a Napleton Porsche Cayman S

Debut Mid-Ohio winners last year ready for Pirelli World Challenge GTS Title Bid in 2013

WESTMONT, Illinois (March 21, 2013) – Napleton Racing and Kevin Gleason, debut weekend race winners last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, have reunited for an all-out assault on the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Championships GTS title in the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman S.

Napleton and Gleason will contest the entire 2013 Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship that begins this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, March 22 – 24, the fourth straight year the Pirelli World Challenge will begin its season in Florida with a doubleheader weekend that is part of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IZOD IndyCar event.

Round One from St. Petersburg is scheduled for this Saturday, March 23, while Round Two is on Sunday, March 24. The GTS competitors will race at the same time as the more powerful GT cars. 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.

Napleton and Gleason contested only the Mid-Ohio Pirelli World Challenge weekend last August and walked away winners in their debut. After finishing third in Saturday’s opening race of the doubleheader at Mid-Ohio, Gleason started third and drove to the victory in the rain in the Sunday race.

“I believe Napleton Racing and I will be a strong combination this year,” Gleason said. “We were able to achieve some success last year in our only weekend in Pirelli World Challenge and, seeing how well the team operated on and off the track, I knew this is where I wanted to be this year.”

Despite the Mid-Ohio success, Napleton and Gleason skipped the following and season-ending race in Sonoma and shifted the focus to building a full-season program for 2013. With that goal met, the mission begins this weekend in Florida.

“I didn't think we were going to be able to make it happen but thankfully a late deal was put together for the season and I couldn't be more excited,” Gleason said. “The GTS class is stronger than it’s ever been and the single driver platform is very appealing. There are a lot of really good teams and a great mix of fast, experienced drivers along with some really hungry younger drivers.”

Napleton Racing was also at the foundation of the landmark victory by Jack Baldwin in the No. 68 Team Hot Wheels™ Cayman S at Long Beach last April. That race was the first major North American road racing victory for the Porsche Cayman S and the No. 68 was built by and at the time maintained by Napleton Racing.

Gleason’s resolve to put a deal together with Napleton was strengthened when the team, with drivers David Donohue, Shane Lewis, Dr. Jim Norman and Nelson Canache, dominated in the debuting GX class to win the season-opening GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. The Cayman S that carried the team to victory in the day-long Daytona race was the same proven one that Gleason drove to the Mid-Ohio win and will race all this season.

“The team has a lot of momentum from winning the Rolex 24 earlier this year,” Gleason said. “I have a lot of confidence in the team, which is really an important ingredient for success.”

Last year’s Long Beach and Mid-Ohio wins, and the milestone Rolex 24 victory earlier this year, have come within the span of just the first three years of Napleton Racing fielding national and professional racing programs. The ingredients for success, however, have been in place for years. Napleton owns and operates the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship and the World Challenge-specification Caymans are based on the cars that have been raced in that series since 2009.

“We are proud of the success we have achieved at Daytona, Long Beach and Mid-Ohio recently due in large part to our relationships with great drivers like Kevin Gleason and our top four-driver team at Daytona,” said Napleton Racing Team Principal Ron Barnaba. “We look forward to even more success with Kevin in our full season effort in the Pirelli World Challenge this season and, as always, will work hard to achieve even more race wins and our first championship.”

Gleason also wants more success with Napleton Racing.

“No doubt, our goal is the GTS Championship which will not be an easy task, but we are ready for the fight,” Gleason said. “The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class is going to be rocking this year! The fans are going to get a great show with a lot of wheel to wheel action.”
 
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