LAKEVILLE, Conn., July 23, 2010 – On a rainy day at Lime Rock Park, Corvette drivers Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin qualified their Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars fourth and sixth respectively for Saturday’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. Wet conditions prevailed through two hours of practice and the 20-minute qualifying session.
Qualifying began with light rain falling on the 1.5-mile circuit, and the rain intensified throughout the session. Magnussen turned his quickest time at 1:04.563 on his fourth lap in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, while Gavin’s third timed lap in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R was his best at 1:05.011. Patrick Long claimed the GT pole in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche with a 1:03.904 lap.
“Conditions were very tricky with the rain and not knowing how bad it was at the start of a qualifying run,” Magnussen said. “Here you need quite a big gap between cars because you can’t see anything in the spray.
“All in all, I’m happy with our qualifying result,” the Dane explained. “I would have liked to have been a little closer to the pole time, but it’s very easy to go for that last tenth of a second, and then the crew ends up working all night if you go off.”
A problem with a wheel nut in the second practice session cost the No. 4 Corvette precious track time. The qualifying session was interrupted by a red flag, and the rainfall increased during the final five minutes after qualifying resumed.
“With the problem we had in practice, we didn’t get a chance to go out on fresh tires to see what it was going to be like,” Gavin said. “We made some changes, and unfortunately they didn’t go in the right direction, so we’ve ended up a little way back. I did three or four laps and realized that I needed to come in and have the crew make some adjustments. As soon as I went back out, the red flag flew, and when the track went green, it was raining harder. We weren’t going to improve the time so I came in rather than risk bending the car.”
The forecasts for race day range from continued rain to hot and humid conditions.
“If we have a race in rain like this, it’s anybody’s guess,” Magnussen noted. “Luck will play such a big part of it. I love driving in the rain, but racing should be in the dry where it’s not down to what everybody else does, but rather what you do yourself. If we’re racing in the wet, then so be it. We’ll try to race smarter than everyone else.”
The 2-hour, 45-minute American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park will start at 2:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 24, and will be televised live on SPEED. Live audio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio, Sirius Channel 127, and XM Channel 242
American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix GT Qualifying:
- Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:03.904
- Sellers/Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:04.378
- Melo/Bruni, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:04.391
- O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:04.563
- Salo/Kaffer, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:04.929
- Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:05.011
- Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:05.064
- Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:05.346
- Auberlen/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 1:06.907
- Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT, 1:07.005
- Dalziel/Goosens, Jaguar XKRS, 1:07.661
- Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:07.892
- Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:08.876
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
Photo Credit: Richard Prince/GM Racing Photo