Beretta Puts Corvette on GTS Pole Position at Lime Rock
Monegasque Drives #4 Corvette C5-R to fastest time in class
LIME ROCK, Conn. – The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team will start Monday’s 2-hour, 45-minute race at Lime Rock from the pole position in the GTS class. Olivier Beretta, driving the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R with Oliver Gavin, set the fastest lap in class with a time of 51.425 seconds; Ron Fellows, driving the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R with Johnny O’Connell, will start from the second position in class after posting a lap of 51.827 seconds. The two-car Chevrolet team holds the lead in the GTS Manufacturers’, Team and Drivers’ points in the American Le Mans Series after two consecutive victories at Sebring and Mid-Ohio.
“The great performance by the Saleen serves as a reminder that in ALMS racing you cannot sit back for one second against the competition,” said Doug Fehan, GM’s program manager for Corvette Racing. “Our team did a great job in demonstrating that to all the fans here in the Northeast today.”
The Corvettes set the fastest times in each practice leading up to Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, with both the #3 and #4 Corvettes taking fastest time honors throughout the weekend. For qualifying on the short 1.54-mile circuit, many drivers found it difficult to find clear track to set their fast times. The factory Chevrolet drivers used a bit of strategy to slow down on track in order to find a clear gap in traffic. New driver Olivier Beretta was able to capture the fastest GTS lap for Corvette; the time represents Beretta’s first pole position in the ALMS since Adelaide, 2000.
“It was a bit of a mess with traffic so I slowed down to find a hole,” said Olivier Beretta, driver of the #4 Corvette C5-R. “I believe we could have gone a bit quicker but I didn’t want to attack that much-in the ALMS we are forced to start the race on our qualifying tires.”
Ron Fellows was unable to find a string of clear laps during the qualifying session. Dan Binks, #3 Corvette car chief, brought Fellows into the pits in the middle of the session to find a gap.
“I figured the pole would be somewhere in the low 51’s,” said Fellows. “Dan Binks used some good strategy to pull us into the pits to get a better spot on the track, but I was only able to get two clear laps. Both of the Corvettes are well prepared for this race-Olivier got a better spot on the track to run. I think Johnny and I are happy with the car’s feel for the race.”
The Corvette Racing team will begin the 2-hour, 45-minute race at Lime Rock on Monday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.
|Provisional Grid (GTS Class)|
|Pos.||Car||Qualifying Driver||Best Time|
|1||#4 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R||Beretta||51.425|
|2||#3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R||Fellows||51.827|
|3||#63 Saleen S7R||Borcheller||51.893|
|4||#71 Dodge Viper GTS-R||Belloc||53.803|
|5||#5 Lamborghini Murcielago||Kox||53.970|