The factory Corvettes did fairly well in their qualifying runs this afternoon and placed third and seventh for tomorrow’s starting grid, despite having to remove the direct injection system following complaints from Porsche and Ferrari. However, the day clearly belongs to Lou Gigliotti and his LG Motorsports/Riley GT2 Corvette as they qualified second in class – in front of the two factory Corvette – with a time of 1:20.877.
The return of the #28 GT2 Corvette is significant as Lou’s team had to totally rebuild the race car following the devastating fire at Long Beach earlier this year. It’s no secret about how Lou feels about the factory racing team and after the team’s 2nd place qualifying, Lou was heard to say “We can stretch a nickel into a quarter and we don’t need any bailout money”.
As for the factory Corvette racers, Olivier Beretta and the #4 Corvette earned a third place start on the grid with a time of 1:20.912 and Johnny O’Connell and the #3 Corvette finished in seventh with a time of 1:21.491.
Speaking with Doug Fehan earlier this morning, I can tell you that while Corvette Racing complied with the request to remove the Direct Injection system, it doesn’t mean they were happy doing it. So perhaps revenge is a dish served best cold as Corvette Racing’s third place time was better than Porsche and Ferrari. Fehan said the engine team worked hard to complete the ACO’s request to remove DI and revert to tune port injection and that the didn’t even have time for a dyno test.
The real test will come on Saturday for both the factory Corvettes and LG Motosports. Not only will both teams face the competition on the track, but with an 80% chance of rain in the forecast, the Corvettes may be battling Mother Nature as well.
Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta is scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. EDT on Saturday. The race will conclude when the overall leader completes 1,000 miles or 10 hours, whichever comes first. SPEED will broadcast live flag-to-flag coverage starting at 11 a.m. EDT.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving