I took nearly 600 photos during my three days at Road Atlanta for the 13th Annual Petit Le Mans and it was somewhat hard deciding which images to share. So we pulled 45 images to present in our 2010 Petit Le Mans photo gallery. You’ll find an eclectic mix ranging from the Corvette Corral and the Tech Talk with Gary Pratt and Dan Binks to the final moments of the race when the pit crew realized they just won the GT class.
In the final minutes of Petit Le Mans, both the #4 Corvette C6.R (in position 2 running -10 seconds down) and the class leading #62 Risi Ferrari came in to the pits for a splash of fuel. As the announcer recounts in the video from SPEED, the Corvette team got it right and Ferrari got it wrong when it came to how much fuel would be needed to make it to the end.
Friday saw the release of GM’s monthly sales reports and for the straight sixth straight month the number of Corvettes sold has been north of 1,000 units. In September 2010, 1,109 Corvettes were sold. This was 30% lower than last year’s 1,585 Corvettes, but discount that due to extenuating circumstances surrounding the September 2009 sales total. Year to date, Corvette sales total 9,798, a 9% decrease from 2009’s 10,795 units.
The Corvette Racing garage at Petit Le Mans was a very happy place following the team’s first win which came at the last race of the 2010 ALMS season. C6.R driver Oliver Gavin recounts the rollercoaster season and then describes the final moments of passing the #62 Risi Ferrari on the last lap to win the checkered flag.
Gavin, Magnussen and Collard Take Dramatic GT2 Win on Fumes as Ferrari Runs Dry on Final Lap
BRASELTON, Ga., Oct 2, 2010 – Corvette Racing concluded its first full season in the ultra-competitive GT2 category with a victory tonight in the 13th running of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Going into the final lap, the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R driven by Oliver Gavin was trailing Toni Vilander in the class-leading No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari by 10 seconds. With a low-fuel alarm flashing on his own instrument panel, Gavin watched incredulously as the Ferrari slowed on the back straight as it ran out of E85 fuel. Gavin then raced across the finish line 5.763 seconds ahead of the runner-up No. 01 Ferrari of Dominick Farnbacher, which also passed Vilander’s hapless Ferrari.
Corvette Racing C6.R driver Johnny O’Connell hosts an annual celebrity auction at Petit Le Mans to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and The Guest House, an adult day health care facility in Gainesville, GA. We’ll have another post detailing some of the cool race items that were sold. However, the highlight of the evening was when he sang “I want to Rock N Roll All Night” with help from Corvette Racing Crew Chief Mike West and rocker Dan Fastuca.
Magnussen and Beretta Separated by .077 Seconds in Twin Corvette C6.Rs
BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 1, 2010 – Corvette Racing drivers Jan Magnussen and Olivier Beretta qualified sixth and seventh respectively for Saturday’s 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans, the season finale of the 2010 American Le Mans Series. Today’s 25-minute GT qualifying session was held in warm and sunny conditions on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit. The twin Corvettes were separated by just .077 seconds, with Magnussen qualifying sixth at 1:20.598 in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, and Beretta close behind in seventh at 1:20.675 in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R.
Yesterday we spoke with Corvette Racing C6.R driver Johnny O’Connell. We asked him his impressions about the season where in 8 races, the C6.Rs have yet to score a victory. Johnny also talked about the driver lineup changes that occured in Mosport and carried through to this weekend’s Petit Le Mans as well as his plans for his annual celebrity auction. Finally, Johnny’s personal 2002 Corvette named “Sweetness” just passed a milestone. We asked him what it was and what he did to celebrate.
In the eleventh episode of Corvette Racing’s Track to Street series, it’s all about the fan perspective, and how they feel about Chevrolet’s iconic car. Enthusiasts and owners offer their opinions and feelings about the races, the team, the production model and the overall experience that comes with the Chevrolet Corvette, on and off the track.
CorvetteBlogger is live from Road Atlanta this weekend for Petit Le Mans and we had the opportunity to catch up with Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan. We spoke about the trials and tribulations of the 2010 season and look ahead to 2011 where the ACO rules will allow paddle shift transmissions. Is Corvette Racing heading down that path? Make the jump and watch our exclusive interview with the Dr. Fehan.