Petit Le Mans 5-Hour Report: Corvette Leads GTS
O’Connell leads Beretta; Chevrolets run fourth and fifth overall
ATLANTA– After five hours of racing at the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans endurance event, Corvette leads the GTS class and holds the fourth and fifth positions overall. With drivers getting their second stints behind the wheel, Johnny O’Connell holds the lead in the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R over Olivier Beretta in the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R.
“Both cars are running very well today,” said Steve Wesoloski, program engineering manager for Corvette Racing. “If we can stay out of trouble and turn some quick pit stops, we will be in good shape. As the sun comes down, visibility will be a factor.”
The Corvettes lost position to the Saleen S7R on the start but quickly regained the lead. Oliver Gavin took the GTS lead in the #4 Corvette but lost place to Ron Fellows in the #3 Corvette on a restart after a full-course caution period. The early hours of the race have been characterized by a number of extended caution periods due to accidents with the slower GT cars.
“I had a great restart, got a good run down the hill and passed Oliver,” said Fellows. “We’re running fine now and Johnny and Max have driven flawlessly. The conditions got a bit slippery toward the end of my first stint when the temperatures went up, but it’s getting a bit cooler now so we have to manage those conditions.”
After five hours, the Corvettes are running just seconds apart from each other. The next running GTS car, the #5 Lamborghini Murcielago, is 13 laps behind.