Corvettes Qualify Third and Fourth for Laguna Seca Six-Hour
Tenth of a Second Separates Gavin and Magnussen in GT Qualifying Battle
MONTEREY, Calif. – Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen qualified their Compuware Corvette C6.Rs third and fourth respectively in the hotly contested GT class for Saturday’s six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey. Gavin turned his quickest time on his fourth flying lap, stopping the clock at 1:23.101 (96.952 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R. Magnussen responded with a 1:23.201 (96.835 mph) on his fifth and final flyer. Jaime Melo put Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 430 GT on the pole at 122.752 (97.361 mph).
“I was just chipping away at the time on every lap,” said Gavin. “I was hoping to find that last little bit so we could challenge the Ferraris on the front row. My engineer, Chuck Houghton, and the crew have been working really hard over the last two days to give the car a good balance. We’ve got the setup a lot closer, but we still need to find a little bit more. That’s the difference between where we are now and being on pole. I feel confident that the adjustments we’ll make tonight are going to help us and we’ll be strong for six hours tomorrow.”
Both Corvettes improved their lap times significantly from the earlier practice sessions on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course on the central California coastline.
“The car was very good, but I still don’t think I hit it exactly like I wanted,” said Magnussen. “We are trying some different things that might not have been the best for qualifying but it felt like the car got better and better on the run, which is very encouraging.”
Earlier today the team celebrated the upcoming 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dr. Dick Thompson, who drove one of Briggs Cunningham’s Corvettes at Le Mans in 1960, and Dick Guldstrand, co-driver of the Dana Chevrolet Corvette at Le Mans in 1967, were reunited with their historic race cars. With the Corvette C6.Rs scheduled to begin their journey to France on next Thursday, thoughts of Le Mans loom large.
“As a warmup for Le Mans, this will be a good test,” Gavin said. “We’re also mindful that these cars are going to Le Mans in just a few days – I think the crew reminds us of that hourly! I’m hoping more than anything that Olivier and I can get a decent result. We’ve had some rough luck in the first two races, and we need to score points tomorrow if we hope to challenge for the championship.”
The American Le Mans Series Monterey will start at 2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 22, and will be televised by CBS Sports tape-delayed on Saturday, May 29 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The six-hour race will be streamed live online at americanlemans.com starting at 5:30 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio, Sirius Channel 127, and XM Channel 242.
American Le Mans Series Monterey GT Qualifying:
1. Melo/Bruni, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:22.752
2. Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:23.067
3. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:23.101
4. O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:23.201
5. Auberlen/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 1:23.350
6. Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:23.379
7. Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:23.394
8. Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:23.484
9. Sellers/Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:23.991
10. Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT, 1:24.750
11. Gentilozzi/Dalziel/Goosens, Jaguar XKRS, 1:26.381
12. Krohn/Jonsson, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:36.708
13. Law/Neiman/Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:28.481
Release Date: May 21, 2010