Corvettes Qualify Third and Fourth for Sebring 12-Hour
Gavin and Fellows Take Third and Fourth Spots in GT1 Qualifying for Season-Opening ALMS Endurance Race
SEBRING, Fla. - Corvette Racing's new Corvette C6.Rs qualified third and fourth in the GT1 class
for Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the season-opening round of the 10-race American Le Mans
Series. Reigning GT1 co-champion Oliver Gavin turned the third quickest time in the No. 4 Compuware
Corvette at 1:56.770 (114.070 mph) and three-time Sebring winner Ron Fellows was fourth fastest at
1:57.854 (113.021 mph) in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette.
The 20-minute qualifying session was interrupted by a red flag that limited the Corvettes to three
flying laps. The GT1 pole went to the Aston Martin DBR9 of Pedro Lamy with a 1:55.286 lap time that
surpassed the 1:57.052 track record set by Fellows in 2004.
"It's unfortunate that qualifying was cut short because we had three more hot laps that we were
going to put on the tires before the start of the race," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug
Fehan. "The red flag came out just at the wrong time, as it often seems to do in racing."
Recent performance adjustments in weight and restrictor sizes announced by series officials have
affected the relative performances of the Corvettes and their competitors. The C6.Rs now weigh 121 pounds
more than their rivals and have smaller intake restrictors.
"Last year we qualified on the pole and we didn't do that this year - no excuses," Fehan
commented. "The lap times have been close throughout the practice and qualifying sessions. I give the
sanctioning body high marks for being able to balance the performance differential between the Corvette
and the Aston Martin."
Gavin perceived the impact of the performance adjustments on his qualifying run.
"We ran as hard as we could and that was the best we could produce," said the Briton, who
qualified his yellow Corvette C6.R 14th overall. "The lap times were coming down and perhaps we could
have run a bit quicker had the red flag not come out. It's just one of those things."
Traffic was a factor for Fellows: "I caught traffic four times in two laps, and then the red flag
came out," the Canadian reported. "We just didn't get an opportunity to get a good one. The
track did seem slippery, and that's something we'll have to address in the race to make sure that we have
With warm temperatures and sunny skies in the forecast, the season-opening race promises to be another
"Sebring is an unusual place because it changes from hour to hour," Fehan noted. "We
know that when it gets hot, it's going to get slippery, and there will be a lot of cars on the track.
That's why Corvette Racing focuses very hard on developing a setup that will perform well in a wide
variety of conditions. We've spent the majority of our track time this week working on that."
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first round of the 10-race 2006 American Le Mans Series, is
scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. EST on Saturday, March 18 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring,
Fla. The race will be televised live on SPEED Channel from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30
p.m., and from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring GT1 Qualifying:
1. Bright/Lamy/Sarrazin, Aston Martin DBR9, 1:55.286, 115.539 mph
2. Enge/Kiesa/Turner, Aston Martin DBR9, 1:56.030, 114.798
3. Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:56.770, 114.070
4. O'Connell/Fellows/Papis, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:57.854, 113.021
5. Ruberti/Babini/Davies, Saleen S7R, 2:00.128, 110.882
6. Weickhardt/Borcheller/Belloc, Saleen S7R, 2:00.291, 110.731
Release Date: March 16, 2006