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Corvette Racing: Petit Le Mans News Roundup

by Keith Cornett on October 2, 2008

The Corvette C6.Rs at Petit Le Mans
We got a ton of news and quotes coming for the Corvette Racing team as they prepare for Saturday’s 1,000-Mile/10-Hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Stay with CorvetteBlogger as we follow the factory-backed Corvette C6.Rs in what will be their last appearance in the GT1 class at the American Le Mans series premier event before transitioning to GT2 next year.


Wednesday Practice

Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis went quickest in GT1 at 1:16.867 (118.959 mph). The trio was 0.095 seconds quicker than the sister Corvette of Jan Magnussen, Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell.

Magnussen and O’Connell lead the class championship by 23 points over Beretta and Gavin. There are 55 points remaining over the final two events with 30 points going to Petit Le Mans winners.



Corvette Racing’s #3 Jan Magnussen on Petit Le Mans

“Petit Le Mans is a fantastic race. There are so many fans there. It’s a long event – 1,000 miles – so people tend to come there and camp out. It’s very similar to Sebring in terms of atmosphere. And the race is a little bit different than the other long races that we do. The track kind of lends itself to harder racing because you have to take bigger chances to get through traffic. But it’s, for me, a fantastic event, and I’m looking to go back there and do more than 14 laps or whatever I did last year before I got pushed off.”



A Ford for Andy Pilgrim?

Yes, that was a GM man in the pits of a Ford GT-R team Wednesday. Andy Pilgrim will co-drive Black Swan Racing’s GT2 entry with Anthony Lazzaro and team owner Tim Pappas. Pilgrim is part of Chevrolet’s factory road-racing program but received permission from GM to drive Pappas’ car.

Looking ahead, it’s not a bad idea. Corvette Racing announced in September that it will move to GT2 following next year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pilgrim said not to read too much into his drive this weekend as he doesn’t know how Corvette Racing will utilize him next season.

“Tim had wanted me to drive the car for awhile and it worked out this race where I could,” Pilgrim said. “It’s good to get the experience in GT2 because of the future of GM’s Corvette program and testing the GT2 car.”



Johnny O’Connell’s Charity Auction

Corvette Racing driver Johnny O’Connell will host his annual charity auction at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, October 3, at Road Atlanta’s infield winner’s circle. O’Connell organized the auction in 2001 in memory of his father to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association and The Guest House, a senior citizen day care center in Gainesville, Ga.

Drivers, teams, and manufacturers have donated memorabilia and merchandise, and O’Connell will play the role of auctioneer. The event has raised more than $200,000 for charity to date.



Bad Boy Vettes PitCam

BBV will be down in Atlanta for Petit Le Mans this weekend and their ever popular PitCam will be bringing you a live feed from the pits while the Corvette C6.Rs are on the track as well as behind the scenes view of the paddock. A chat room will be running in conjunction with the PitCam operation. Expect to see video starting on Friday.



Mad Max’s Birthday

Max Papis returns to Corvette Racing as the third driver of the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R at Petit Le Mans. The popular Italian will celebrate his 39th birthday on Friday, October 3, on the eve of the endurance race. Happy Birthday, Max!



Have You Voted?

There is still time to vote for this year’s American Le Mans Series “From The Fans” awards. The Corvette Racing team’s fearless leader Doug Fehan has been nominated so drop what you’re doing and vote for Godoug now! As fans, we can also vote for the Most Popular Driver Award and I have thrown my support behind Corvette Racing driver Johnny O’Connell. His charity auction this weekend is just another reason why he is one of the good guys in this league. Go Johnny!



The 1,000 mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans will take place this Saturday, October 4th. SPEED will televise the race live starting at 11am.



Sources:
Paddock Talk | Newshaus | Bad Boy Vettes | American Le Mans

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan on the Green Challenge
LG Motorsports GT2 Corvette Returning to ALMS for Petit Le Mans

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