Corvettes Qualify Fifth and Eighth for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge
Corvettes Cope with Heat and Humidity in the Heartland
LEXINGTON, Ohio, – On a steamy summer afternoon, Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner qualified their Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars fifth and eighth respectively for Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the fifth round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series. Gavin will start the No. 4 Corvette C6.R fifth on the GT grid after lapping the 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1:20.944 (100.425 mph). Milner was eighth quickest in the No. 3 Corvette with a 1:21.280 time (100.010 mph). Joey Hand won the GT pole in the No 56 BMW M3 GT with the fastest lap in the 15-minute session at 1:20.539 (100.930 mph).
The temperature was edging toward 90 degrees and the track was a toasty 130 degrees when GT qualifying began on the classic 13-turn circuit. Gavin was on top in GT after his fourth flying lap and set his quickest time on his sixth circuit, but the competition eclipsed his fast time in the closing minutes. Milner also posted his best time on his sixth lap.
“We won from sixth on the grid at Mosport, and I don’t see why we can’t do the same here,” Gavin said. “Our race pace looks competitive, and I’m quietly confident about that.
“We went into the qualifying session thinking that the car would do one thing and then it started doing another,” Gavin explained. “I felt we were close to our competition up to that point, but as sometimes happens in qualifying, all of the sandbags came out and our rivals ran faster laps. Our pace on long runs with older tires looks quite good, so we’ll continue to work on the car and see if we can get a bit more speed. And who knows? It could rain!”
Milner steadily improved his lap times throughout his qualifying run. “I turned down the traction control to try to squeak out a tenth or two, and I put it all on the line,” he said. “No question that we have a good race car, and at the end of the day that’s what matters most. We already know that we have a good setup, so we can try some more adjustments in tomorrow morning’s warmup.
“Looking at our race pace, we’re much closer than it looks in qualifying, which is encouraging,” Milner noted. “Some of these guys can run one quick lap, but they can’t do that consistently. We can’t throw a super-fast lap on the scoreboard, but we’re much closer to our qualifying pace on long runs. I’m optimistic for the race because I feel we have a better race car than a qualifying car.”
The two-hour, 45-minute Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 6. Live video coverage will available on ESPN3.com in the US and americanlemans.com for international users. ESPN2 will televise the race on Sunday, August 7, at 10 p.m. ET.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge GT Qualifying (Top 10):
1. 56 Mueller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 1:20.539
2. 55 Auberlen/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 1:20.655 3. 62 Melo/Vilander, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:20.745
4. 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:20.917
5. 4 Gavin/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 1:20.944
6. 02 Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:21.068
7. 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:21.256
8. 3 Beretta/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 1:21.280
9. 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:21.921
10. 04 Murry/Lazzaro, Doran Ford GT, 1:22.128
Release Date: August 5, 2011