Chevrolet Clinches ALMS GTS Manufacturers’ Championship
Gavin and Beretta take Corvette to victory at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Chevrolet captured a fourth-straight ALMS GTS Manufacturers’ championship on Saturday with a class victory by the factory-backed Corvette C5-R race cars at Road America. Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta drove the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R to third overall, first in class, after starting from the pole position. The Corvettes are undefeated after eight races in 2004.
“This is an important day for Corvette Racing, GM Racing and Chevrolet,” said Doug Fehan, program manager for Corvette Racing. “We’ve proven that GM’s dedication to this program since its inception in 1996 has been beneficial to the entire corporation.”
It was another record-setting weekend for the 7.0-liter Corvettes, with Olivier Beretta taking pole position with a new track record. At the start of Sunday’s race, Beretta held onto the lead and the #4 team maintained position for the entirety of the event. Quick pit stops by the crew extended the lead for Gavin and Beretta and gave the duo their second consecutive victory.
“We’ve very excited to win for Corvette and clinch the championship for Chevrolet today,” said Gavin. “Olivier did a great job under pressure for that first stint. Our pit stops were great and the team worked very hard to get us back on the track in a hurry. It paid off and this victory feels fantastic.”
Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell fought to grab the lead but found that they were just seconds short of the #4 Corvette at the finish line.
“Johnny and I always want to take the checkered flag but today I believe everyone at Chevrolet has won,” said Fellows. “Four championships in four years is quite a feat and I think it shows the team’s dedication and teamwork. We’re happy for Oliver and Olivier today and we will be back for another battle at Petit Le Mans.”
The Corvette Racing team next takes to the track on September 22 in Georgia for the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race. The long-distance event will see the return of Corvette drivers Max Papis and Jan Magnussen into the two-car lineup.
|Provisional Results (GTS Class)|
|1||#4 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R||Gavin/Beretta||77|
|2||#3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R||Fellows/O’Connell||77|
|3||#63 Saleen S7R||Borcheller/Mowlem||73|
|4||#71 Dodge Viper GTS-R||Belloc/Weickardt||61|