Corvettes to Start Third and Fourth as Rain Washes Out Mosport ALMS Qualifying

Sep 02 2006 admin News Comments Off on Corvettes to Start Third and Fourth as Rain Washes Out Mosport ALMS Qualifying

GT1 Grid for Grand Prix of Mosport Determined by Practice Times

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – The remnants of tropical storm Ernesto rained on Corvette Racing’s parade as qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Mosport was canceled due to treacherous track conditions. The Compuware Corvette C6.Rs will start third and fourth in the GT1 class after the grid was set by practice times.

The No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell will start third with a 1:14.385 (119.008 mph) lap time. The No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta will grid in the fourth spot with a 1:14.547 (118.749 mph) practice time. The No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 of Sarrazin/Lamy was awarded the GT1 pole with a 1:13.056 (121.173 mph) time.

Fellows turned the fastest lap in the wet practice that preceded the scheduled qualifying session, but the Canadian agreed with the decision to cancel qualifying. Earlier today on a damp track, Fellows won the pole for the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race at Mosport in a Cadillac CTS- V .

“Obviously we’d like to be on the GT1 pole, but it’s better for everyone that we’re not wrecking cars,” said Fellows. “By the end of the practice session cars were hydroplaning on the back straight, and that’s not good. It was a great show for the fans running in the rain for an hour, but now let’s make sure we have 22 cars to start the race tomorrow.”

“I’ll tell you, that was fun driving in the rain!” Fellows declared. “The Corvette was really good, and I was very impressed with the Michelin rain tires. That was the first time I’ve run them in these conditions, and we’ll definitely keep them.”

Olivier Beretta, who was scheduled to qualify the No. 4 Corvette, concurred with the officials’ decision.

“There is no point to destroying a car in these conditions,” said the four-time Mosport winner. “It’s not driving, it’s just surviving now. At the beginning of the practice session it was all right, but now there is too much water; there is nothing to gain and everything to lose. I think it was a smart decision.”

With the forecast for Sunday predicting continued wet weather, Corvette Racing is well prepared to race in the rain.

“We showed today that the Corvettes are quick in the rain, but after setting the grid with the practice times recorded on a dry track, our drivers will now have to work their way through the pack,” noted GM Racing road racing group manager Steve Wesoloski. “We haven’t had an opportunity to test extensively with the Michelin rain tires, and I’m very impressed with how they performed today. We know our aero package very well, and that’s another asset as we try to maximize grip in the wet.”

The Grand Prix of Mosport, the eighth round of the 10-race 2006 American Le Mans Series, will start at 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 3. The race will be televised live on the SPEED Channel.

Grand Prix of Mosport GT1 Qualifying
(grid set by practice times after qualifying canceled due to rain):
1. Lamy/Sarrazin, Aston Martin DBR9, 1:13.056/121.173 mph
2. Enge/Kox, Aston Martin DBR9, 1:13.574/120.320 mph
3. Fellows/O’Connell, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:14.385/119.008 mph
4. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:14.547/118.749 mph

Release Date: Sept. 2, 2006