Magnussen Qualifies No. 4 Corvette C6.R Under GT Track Record, Misses Pole by .005 Second
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 19, 2011 – Jan Magnussen was more than a second quicker than Oliver Gavin’s pole-winning lap at Road America in 2010, and six tenths of a second under the GT qualifying record set in 2008. Despite the Dane’s strong performance today, he missed putting the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R on the GT pole for the second consecutive year by .005-second. That was the razor-thin margin that favored Dirk Mueller’s No. 56 BMW M3 GT in qualifying for Saturday’s Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase, the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series.
Magnussen held back as the 15-minute qualifying session began, seeking a gap in traffic. With a clear track ahead, he rocketed around the 4-mile circuit in 2:05.452 (116.162 mph) on his fourth lap, eclipsing his teammate’s pole-winning 2:06.509 time from last year. Olivier Beretta was close behind with a lap at 2:06.585 (115.123 mph) that put the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R sixth on the GT grid. Mueller took the pole with a 2:05.447 (116.167 mph) lap.
“Five thousandths!” Magnussen exclaimed after qualifying. “When the session started, I made a quick decision to fall back to give myself a big gap. I was clear of traffic, set my fast time, and then did a cool-down lap to get ready for my final qualifying run. That lap was looking really good until we caught traffic. Even with a similar lap, five thousandths could have gone either way.
“Corvette Racing has done such a fantastic job with the cars,” Magnussen said. “We’re developing all the time, Michelin is making gains with the tires, and the guys back in the shop are prepping the cars perfectly. There are so many tiny improvements, so much attention to the details, and when they are all added up, you get a big improvement like this in one year.”
Beretta also posted his best time on his fourth lap, jumping from 11th to sixth in the order.
“Everything was OK, the tires were working well, but I had some power understeer,” Beretta said. “I felt that I was losing time in the Carousel, the Kink, and Turn 7. Four hours is a long race, so I think we can make it to the front with some more work on the front of the car.”
The four-hour Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 20. Live video coverage will be available on ESPN3.com in the US and americanlemans.com for international users. ABC will televise the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase on Sunday, August 21, at 4:30 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).
Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase Qualifying (Top 10):
- 56 Mueller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 2:05.447
- 4 Gavin/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 2:05.447
- 62 Melo/Vilander, Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:05.687
- 55 Auberlen/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 2:06.245
- 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:06.379
- 3 Beretta/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 2:06.585
- 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:06.730
- 99 Junqueira/Wilden, Jaguas XKR, 2:06.812
- 44 Neiman/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:06.838
- 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:06.921
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving