Oliver Gavin led the way for Corvette Racing with the third fastest qualifying time for Saturday’s 6-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey. Gavin’s fastest time of 1:23.101 (96.952 mph) came during his fourth lap around Laguna Seca’s 11-turn 2.238 mile raceway. Jan Magnussen had the qualifying duties for the number 3 C6.R and his fasted time of 122.752 (97.361 mph) came on his fifth and final lap. Jaime Melo and Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 430 GT is on the pole at 122.752 (97.361 mph).
“I was just chipping away at the time on every lap,” said Gavin. “I was hoping to find that last little bit so we could challenge the Ferraris on the front row. My engineer, Chuck Houghton, and the crew have been working really hard over the last two days to give the car a good balance. We’ve got the setup a lot closer, but we still need to find a little bit more. That’s the difference between where we are now and being on pole. I feel confident that the adjustments we’ll make tonight are going to help us and we’ll be strong for six hours tomorrow.”Earlier today the team celebrated the upcoming 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dr. Dick Thompson, who drove one of Briggs Cunningham’s Corvettes at Le Mans in 1960, and Dick Guldstrand, co-driver of the Dana Chevrolet Corvette at Le Mans in 1967, were reunited with their historic race cars. With the Corvette C6.Rs scheduled to begin their journey to France on next Thursday, thoughts of Le Mans loom large.
“The car was very good, but I still don’t think I hit it exactly like I wanted,” said Magnussen. “We are trying some different things that might not have been the best for qualifying but it felt like the car got better and better on the run, which is very encouraging.”
“As a warmup for Le Mans, this will be a good test,” Gavin said. “We’re also mindful that these cars are going to Le Mans in just a few days – I think the crew reminds us of that hourly! I’m hoping more than anything that Olivier and I can get a decent result. We’ve had some rough luck in the first two races, and we need to score points tomorrow if we hope to challenge for the championship.”
The American Le Mans Series Monterey will start at 2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 22, and will be televised by CBS Sports tape-delayed on Saturday, May 29 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The six-hour race will be streamed live online at americanlemans.com starting at 5:30 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio, Sirius Channel 127, and XM Channel 242.
American Le Mans Series Monterey GT Qualifying:
- Melo/Bruni, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:22.752
- Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:23.067
- Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:23.101
- O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:23.201
- Auberlen/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 1:23.350
- Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:23.379
- Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:23.394
- Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:23.484
- Sellers/Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:23.991
- Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT, 1:24.750
- Gentilozzi/Dalziel/Goosens, Jaguar XKRS, 1:26.381
- Krohn/Jonsson, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:36.708
- Law/Neiman/Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:28.481
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving