Fresh off their dual podium finish at Le Mans, Corvette Racing heads to Connecticut for the 1.51 mile slugfest known as Lime Rock. Oliver Gavin in the #4 Corvette took the pole with a lap of 54.792 (102.288 mph) finishing 0.247 seconds faster than Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette. The Bell Motorsports Aston Martin was also to return to competition but did not qualify after a crash in today’s second practice session.
The year’s visit to Lime Rock brings a bit of the unknown as the track was reconfigured and freshly paved. The distance is relatively the same but the corners have increased from 8 to 10.
“The biggest challenge is that we have very limited data on the new Lime Rock track layout,” said Ken Flory, chief engineer for the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R driven by Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen. “While we have maps of the new sections, they donâ€™t show the elevations, banking, and specific details of the track. With new paving on the entire track, the grip level is a mystery as well.”
“We plan to use maximum instrumentation on the cars to gather as much information as we can in the first practice session,” Flory revealed. “We’ll pay close attention to tire temperatures and suspension ride heights initially. The team typically begins the race weekend with similar setups on both Corvette C6.Rs, and then we take different directions to evaluate various options. Then for the race, the setups tend to converge and we end up with similar combinations on the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvettes.”
Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussem lead the GT1 Championship by eights points but Lime Rock has been good to Gavin Beretta, who have won here 3 times in four starts since 2004.
“Usually we have come off a good result at Le Mans,” said Gavin, who was third in class with Beretta and Max Papis this year. “But we are all ready to put that behind us. We just had some rough luck and a rough run for the first half of the season. Putting that behind us, this is the best way to start.”
The ALMS Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock is Saturday, September 12th at 2:05 pm EST. SPEED will air the race tape-delayed on Sunday, June 13 from Noon to 3 pm EST.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving