Magnussen and O’Connell Master Mosport
No. 3 Corvette C6.R Continues Winning Streak with Seventh Victory of the Season
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell continued their domination of the GT1 category in the American Le Mans Series today at Mosport International Raceway, scoring their seventh win of the season and their sixth straight victory in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. The pair led their class in the Grand Prix of Mosport from flag to flag, finishing ahead of the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta. The No. 008 Aston Martin finished third, two laps behind the Corvettes.
“Getting through traffic was the key to this race,” said Magnussen, who drove two stints in the two-hour, 45-minute race. “The ultimate lap time wasn’t that important, but getting through traffic without losing time was crucial. I was so happy with the job that (crew chief) Dan Binks did on the radio, helping me all the time. Once or twice I looked in the mirror to check, but otherwise I just trusted him. Whenever he said it was clear, it was clear; when he told me to stay out, I stayed out. There’s not a scratch on the car and another win in the record book – perfect!”
O’Connell notched his 35th career ALMS victory and his sixth win at Mosport, becoming the most successful ALMS driver in the track’s history. Magnussen tallied the 21st victory of his ALMS career. The pair first won together at Mosport in an LMP1 prototype in 1999, and they reprised their winning GT1 performance in last year’s event.
“When Jan and I were teamed together in 1999, I was really looking forward to having another year to build on what we’d learned,” said O’Connell. “That didn’t happen, but to build on what we learned about each other last year at Corvette Racing, and then to carry that spirit into this year, is very cool.”
“My stint started out really good, and we were able to attack hard at the start,” O’Connell recalled. “I might have pushed the rear tires a little too hard and the car went loose, so mentally and physically it was a lot of work. We had a bit of a gap over the No. 4 Corvette, then the caution closed it up. The crew for the No. 3 Corvette did an incredible job to keep us out in front on the pit stops.”
“I love watching this team operate in the pits, and the first pit stop was a consummate demonstration of how well prepared the Corvette Racing crews are,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Both cars came in at the same time and left at the same time. It was awesome!”
“When you look at today’s result, it was a contest that either car could have won,” Fehan noted. “At any given time in the race, one car might have been a few tenths of a second faster than the other, and that’s great racing. I think the fans enjoyed it, and I know the team did, too. Now we’re ready to head to Detroit for our hometown event.”
O’Connell and Magnussen increased their lead in the GT1 drivers’ standings to 27 points (171-144) over Gavin and Beretta with three races remaining.
“I am happy for the team, and both cars are okay,” said Beretta. “We were fast again, the car is one piece, so let’s move on to Detroit. At the end of the day, a 1-2 finish for Corvette Racing is good for everyone.”
“Traffic seemed to be horrendous at times, and I kept losing out to Jan in that,” Gavin reported. “We seemed to have the quicker car, and I could stick with him or gain a little when I got a clear track – but it seemed the second guy through got held up a lot today. The LMP2 class was crazy; I was hit twice today by prototypes.”
Corvette Racing’s next event is the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, the ninth round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. The two-hour, 45-minute race on the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix temporary circuit is scheduled to start at 2:35 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 30. SPEED will televise the race live starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport GT1 Results
1. O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 117
2. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 117
3. Borcheller/Ducote, Aston Martin DBR9, 115
GT1 Championship Standings (unofficial after eight of 11 events)
1. Chevrolet 175
2. Aston Martin 60
1. Jan Magnussen 171
Johnny O’Connell 171
2. Oliver Gavin 144
Olivier Beretta 144
3. Terry Borcheller 57
Chapman Ducote 57
4. Ron Fellows 30
5. Max Papis 26
6. Antonio Garcia 23
Aug. 30, Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix temporary circuit
TV: SPEED live, Aug. 30, 2:30 p.m. EDT
Release Date: Aug. 24, 2008