Corvettes Qualify Seventh and Eighth for ALMS Utah Grand Prix
Corvette C6.Rs Adjusting to Altitude and Heat in High Desert
SALT LAKE CITY – Corvette Racing drivers Olivier Beretta and Johnny O’Connell qualified their twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars seventh and eighth respectively for Sunday’s American Le Mans Series Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park. The fiercely competitive GT class saw Beretta qualify his No. 4 Corvette C6.R at 1:48.022, just .355-seconds off the pole-winning time set by the Ferrari 430 GT of Gianmaria Bruni at 1:47.729. O’Connell qualified at 1:48.279, .612 seconds behind Bruni.
This event marks the first appearance by the GT-spec Corvettes in the dry heat and thin air of the high desert near Salt Lake City. The 20-minute qualifying session was conducted in hot conditions, with a 91-degree air temperature and 112-degree track temperature on the 3.048-mile, 15-turn circuit. O’Connell recorded his quickest time in the second of his seven timed laps, while Beretta’s sixth lap was his best.
“We have a very good car and a very good package, and we are running in a very competitive series,” Beretta said. “This is the first time we have run in Salt Lake City with this high temperature. We are only three tenths from the pole, and I know we can improve. I’m quite happy – we just need to make some more changes on the car and we will be OK in the race.”
“That was not a qualifying run that I thought would end up eighth on the grid,” O’Connell commented. “We don’t know what tires the other guys were using, but we are on a Michelin tire that we know will be good for an hour in very hot conditions. We did four or five laps within a tenth of a second at the end of our qualifying run. Perhaps the competition will start coming back to us at the end of a stint. We’ve got great handling cars, but for some reason the speed’s not quite there.”
The 2-hour, 45-minute ALMS Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park will begin at 2:35 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 11, and will be televised live on SPEED at 4:30 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio, Sirius Channel 127, and XM Channel 242.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix GT Qualifying:
1. Melo/Bruni, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:47.667
2. Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:47.729
3. Fisichella/Vilander, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:47.909
4. Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:47.921
5. Auberlen/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 1:47.966
6. Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:47.970
7. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:48.022
8. O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:48.279
9. Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:48.550
10. Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT, 1:50.214
11. Dalziel/Goosens, Jaguar XKRS, 1:52.178
12. Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:53.732
13. Sellers/Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, no time
Release Date: July 10, 2010