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Corvette Racing

Corvette Racing in Long Beach

Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen fought it out on the streets of Long Beach with their counterparts in the #4 Corvette C6.R and emerged victorious for the third stop of the American LeMans series. O’Connell and Magnussen’s #3 Corvette C6.R scored a 1.374 second victory over Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the No. #4 Corvette. With the win, Johnny O’Connell becomes just the third driver in the ALMS to score 30 victories.

“I first raced in Long Beach in 1986, so to finally get a win here 22 years later is very special,” O’Connell said. “Corvette Racing is the team that’s the most important in my career, and to show the performance of E85 ethanol racing fuel here in Southern California is a very cool moment.

“I was giving it everything I had,” O’Connell reported. “You see the competition in the pits between the two crews and how close it was between the Corvettes on the track, so it doesn’t take a big field of cars to make it an exciting race.”

Magnussen started on the GT1 pole and with Gavin close behind both drivers had to content with heavy traffic and debris along the 1.968-mile temporary race circuit. The teams pitted together under a caution after the first hour of the 100 mile race. The #3 Corvette with O’Connell made it out of the pits first and settled in to duel with the #4 C6.R and Olivier Beretta over the next 37 minutes. The lead stretched to 6.7 seconds at one point but Beretta was making up ground at the end. With the amount of traffic and lack of time remaining, O’Connell was able to hold Beretta off for the win.

“Long Beach always proves to be a great event,” commented Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan.” The two Corvettes battled all day long, both crews executed flawless pit stops, and the engineering team developed great strategies. We had another perfect run with cellulosic E85 ethanol, so it was just a great day for Corvette Racing and for the environment.”

The victory at Long Beach gives O’Connell and Magnussen a four-point lead (66-62) over Gavin and Beretta in the GT1 Driver’s Championship.

Corvette Racing will see its next action on Sunday, May 18 for the Utah Grand Prix held at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. Racing begins at 1:00 PM Mountain Time and Speed with televise the two-hour, 45-minute event live at 3 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: American LeMans

Corvette Racing: Magnussen Scores Pole at Long Beach
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races

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Corvette Racing: Magnussen Scores Pole at Long Beach

by Keith Cornett on April 18, 2008

Corvette Racing in Long Beach

Corvette Racing’s #3 C6.R will be sitting on the pole this weekend for the Tequila Patron ALMS race at Long Beach thanks to Jan Magnussen. Magnussen put together a qualifying lap on the temporary circuit Friday at 1:17.059 (91.940 mph) shattering last year’s qualifying time by 1.086 seconds. Oliver Gavin and the #4 Corvette C6.R were second in the class with a lap of 1:14.465 (91.458 mph).

Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9 did not have a qualifying time listed on today’s results.

“It was a really enjoyable lap – I was out there close to the walls, braking late, and riding the curbs,” Magnussen said after notching his seventh career ALMS pole. “I’m sure I could have massaged the lap a little bit and improved my time, but then you get into the gray area where you might have a faster lap or you might have a broken car. “We’ve been fast since we got here,” said the Dane. “We were faster than last year from the get-go.”

Magnussen employed a five lap strategy that appeared to pay off.

“I was very cautious during the first three laps because we’d set the tire pressures a little low to try to have a couple of stabs at the pole,” Magnussen explained. “It worked out well – when the Michelins came in, my Corvette was perfect.”

The Tequila Patron ALMS race at Long Beach starts at 4:10 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 19. ABC will broadcast the 100-minute race tape-delayed from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 20.

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