Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta scored their sixth GT1 win at Saturday’s Mid-Ohio American LeMans race in Lexington, Ohio. While fortune smiled on the two Ollies, it was an all together different kind of race for the #3 Corvette driven by Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell. Having to start at the rear of the grid due to failing a stall test following Friday’s qualifying session, the #3 Corvette made up the difference quickly in the first few laps with brilliant driving by O’Connell. After the driver switch Magnussen had closed the gap with the class leading #4 Corvette to just two seconds when contact was made with the #26 LMP2 Acura which spun the Corvette around. Officials gave the LMP2 a stop-and-go penalty but Magnussen lost nearly 20 seconds and effectively ended any chance of beating Gavin and Beretta.
“One of the P2 cars tried to pass me around the outside in the second-to-last corner, but he wasn’t up alongside me,” Magnussen recalled. “Then in the next corner he was on the inside coming up into the little kink onto the front straight, but he was only up on my rear wheel. I didn’t see him, but I felt him when he spun me around. “We had almost caught up to the other Corvette,” continued the Dane, “and it would have been cool to race them to the finish.” “The No. 3 Corvette made a great run, but unfortunately had a coming together with the No. 26 prototype that took them out of contention,” noted Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Otherwise I think we would have seen another great battle. Both cars made it to the finish line in perfect condition, and now we’ll move on to the next race.”The victory for Gavin and Beretta extends their lead in the GT1 championship to 36 points with five races remaining. Both Corvettes completed 125 laps around the 2.25 mile Mid-Ohio track and finished 11th and 12th overall. Corvette Racing’s next event is the four-hour Generac 500 at Road America on Saturday, August 11. NBC Sports will televise the race tape-delayed at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 12.
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