The #3 Corvette C6.R is on a roll this season with Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen picking up their fourth ALMS win Saturday at the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock. The 1.51 road course at Lime Rock proved again to be a beast with heavy traffic and several caution periods. The duo was a lap down with 25 minutes to go when a gearbox issue forced Olivier Beretta to pit the #4 C6.R, sealing the victory for the #3 Corvette.
The race between sister cars and crew was highlighted when O’Connell emerged from the pits late in the race after a splash and go fuel stop. The two velocity yellow Corvettes were door to door with O’Connell holding the inside line to the next corner. Beretta couldn’t keep the speed up on the outside and was forced to tap the brakes and fall behind the #3 C6.R.
“It was looking dark for a while, but No. 3 Corvette C6.R was a great race car today,” Magnussen said. “I was unlucky with traffic in my stint, and then just after Johnny got into the car, the race leader was between the two Corvettes when the yellow flag came out. We lost nearly a full lap on the wave-by. It looked grim, but then we got back on the lead lap when the other car had to stop. Then they had a small problem and stopped again. We needed just a few gallons of ethanol to make it to the finish, and Johnny just pipped Olivier coming out of the pit lane. That was very exciting!”
“There are so many races we could have won but for bad luck,” said O’Connell. “I don’t know if we should have won this one, but I’m going to take it!”
“When I came out of the pits after the last stop, I saw Olivier coming,” O’Connell continued. “I held the inside line, and the only way he was going to take me was on the outside – and that would have been impossible.”
O’Connell earned his 32nd career ALMS victory and it was his first win at Lime Rock. O’Connell and Magnussen now hold a 12 point lead (106-94) over teammates Gavin and Beretta with six races remaining.
Corvette Racingâ€™s next event is the Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on Saturday, July 19. NBC will televise the race tape-delayed on Sunday, July 20, at 12 p.m. EDT.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving