Beretta on GTS Pole Position for Corvette at Road America

Aug 21 2004 admin News Comments Off on Beretta on GTS Pole Position for Corvette at Road America

Chevrolet on pace for Manufacturers’ title in Elkhart Lake

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Corvette Racing driver Olivier Beretta captured the pole position for Chevrolet during Saturday qualifying at Road America. Beretta, driving the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R with Oliver Gavin, set a new track record in class with a time of 2:00.868; Johnny O’Connell, driving the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R with Ron Fellows, will start from the second position in class after posting a lap of 2:02.034. The factory program can clinch the GTS Manufacturers’ championship this weekend.

“The session went well and we’re happy with the lap times we saw,” said Steve Wesoloski, program engineering manager for Corvette Racing. “We’re still trying to set up a good race car for a full stint. During the course of the weekend we’ve tried to get a good read on what the car feels like with low amounts of fuel. We’ve also tried to anticipate what we believe will be warmer track conditions for tomorrow. Right now the cars are very well sorted in the high-speed corners but we have to be careful to still provide drivable cars in the slow-speed corners.”

The Corvettes posted record-setting times in each practice session leading up to Saturday afternoon qualifying. After trading fastest laps through the weekend, only the #4 car was able to find clear track during the 20-minute qualifying session. Monegasque Beretta set the fastest time on his first flying lap.

“The car was almost flying it was going so fast,” said Beretta. “I was lucky enough to get clear track although there were a few cars that I had to pass. Oliver and I are happy with the way the car feels but I think we will make a few slight changes. This track is fantastic and we are confident to be able to push very hard.”

Johnny O’Connell said that his #3 Corvette felt fast but that he found it difficult to get a lap without running into slower traffic.

“We had some traffic,” said O’Connell. “I think I missed out on my third lap, when I came back to the pits. That was most likely going to be a great lap but, on the other hand, we managed our tires for tomorrow’s start. We’re happy that we have another Corvette on the pole, but it would have been nice to give to the #3 car team for their hard work this weekend.”

The Corvette Racing team will begin the 2-hour, 45-minute race at Road America on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. CDT.

Provisional Grid (GTS Class)
Pos. Car Driver Best Time
1 #4 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R Beretta 2:00.868
2 #3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R O’Connell 2:02.034
3 #71 Dodge Viper GTS-R Belloc 2:03.468
4 #63 Saleen S7R Borcheller 2:05.138