Gavin and O’Connell Qualify in First Race with Revised Driver Lineup
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 28, 2010 – Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Johnny O’Connell qualified their Compuware Corvettes fourth and sixth respectively for Sunday’s Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Canada at Mosport International Raceway. Both Corvettes posted their quickest times on their second qualifying laps on the 2.459-mile Canadian road course. Gavin turned a time of 1:17.668 (113.977 mph) in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, and O’Connell clocked in at 1:17.794 (113.793 mph) in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Just .634 seconds separated the top six GT qualifiers.
The No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT driven by Gianmaria Bruni took the GT pole with the fastest qualifying time at 1:17.160. However, the red racer must start at the back of the field after a late driver change, promoting the two Corvettes one spot each on the starting grid.
“I knew that I needed to get a quick time in the first three laps when the tires were at their best,” Gavin said. “I was trying to find a gap, and it seemed that every lap I had a car in front of me, or a car spinning ahead of me. Realistically we weren’t going to get the pole today, the Ferrari was just so strong, but I think we might have been on the front row.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve qualified, but I don’t feel that I left anything on the table,” O’Connell said. “We spent the final practice session working on tires, and at the end we got things going in the right direction. The race is going to be really tough. The competition is so close that whoever doesn’t make a mistake will probably be the one who wins.”
Corvette Racing revised its driver lineup for this event, with Olivier Beretta moving to the No. 3 Corvette alongside O’Connell and Jan Magnussen shifting to the No. 4 Corvette as Gavin’s co-driver.
“The car is still yellow, and the only things that have changed are the number on the door and the color of my teammate’s helmet,” Beretta said with a laugh. “Johnny has been very cool, and we work well together. We’ve raced hard against each in the past, and now we are together in the same car. We like the same feel in the car, and the change has given me a new perspective.”
Magnussen has rejoined Gavin, his former endurance-racing co-driver. “We’re getting along great, and I’m getting comfortable in the car,” Magnussen said. “There is the usual stuff we have to sort out with the seat and practicing driver changes. So far so good.
“I expect we’ll see a lot of guys struggling with tire wear in the second half of their stints,” Magnussen predicted. “Usually we are good on our Michelins at the end of a run, and that’s when we really need to push. We may not have the fastest car on one lap, but over the distance I believe we have a good race car.”
The two-hour, 45-minute Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Canada will start at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 29. The race will be televised tape-delayed on SPEED from 4 – 7 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio, Sirius Channel 127, and XM Channel 242.
Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Canada GT Qualifying:
- Vilander/Bruni, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:17.160
- Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:17.461
- Auberlen/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 1:17.491
- Gavin/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:17.668
- Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:17.726
- Beretta/O’Connell, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:17.794
- Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:17.841
- Sellers/Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:18.469
- Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT, 1:18.502
- Goossens/Gentilozzi, Jaguar XKRS, 1:19.099
- Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:21.771
- Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:21.798
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