Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia qualified third and fifth respectively for Saturday’s Road America Road Race Showcase as the record book took a beating. The seven quickest cars in the GT category eclipsed the previous qualifying record on the 4.0-mile circuit.
The Corvettes were frontrunners in today’s practice sessions, and continued their pace in the 15-minute GT qualifying session. Gavin turned his best time at 2:04.871 (116.703 mph) in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R on the second of his four flying laps, and Garcia was close behind at 2:04.921 (116.588 mph) in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Marco Holzer won the pole in the No. 44 Porsche at 2:04.415 (117.131 mph), bettering the GT record set in 2011 at 2:05.447 by 1.032 seconds, followed by Joerg Bergmeister in the No. 45 Porsche.
“It was an unbelievable qualifying session,” said Gavin. “Going into qualifying, I didn’t think that the No. 44 and No. 45 Porsches had shown their hands, and I suspected they would be the cars to beat. We’d made some changes on our setup before qualifying, searching for that last bit of speed. My car was just a bit too loose; usually I like it that way, but this time it was a little too much and I couldn’t attack the corners.
“A lot is going to happen tomorrow in a four-hour race, so now we’ll focus on sorting the car for the long run,” Gavin continued. “The car’s pace has been good, and our quick laps in qualifying reflects on how hard Corvette Racing has been working and how well we’ve developed the car.”
Garcia also posted his quickest time on his second lap in his first qualifying run in the Corvette C6.R at Road America.
“We saw in the final practice that the times were going to be fast, and we proved that in qualifying,” Garcia said. “Today was the first time I enjoyed this track on low fuel and new tires. I wasn’t expecting my second lap to be my best lap; on the next lap I had a little mistake in Turn 3 that hurt the speed on the back straight. We could have been P3 with a lap time just a tenth of a second quicker.
“We’ve been focusing on consistency and tire conservation,” he noted. “The Porsches are strong, as they have been in the last three races, so we will continue to work on our Corvette to beat them.”
The four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase, the seventh round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series, will start at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, August 18. The race can be viewed live on ESPN3.com starting at 3:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will televise the race at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 19.
Road America Road Race Showcase GT Qualifying (Top 10)
1. 44 Neiman/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:04.415
2. 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:04.428
3. 4 Gavin/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 2:04.871
4. 55 J. Mueller/Auberlen, BMW E92 M3, 2:04.913
5. 3 Magnussen/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 2:04.921
6. 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 458 Italia, 2:04.994
7. 56 D. Mueller/Summerton, BMW E92 M3, 2:05.098
8. 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:06.640
9. 23 Sweedler/Bell, Lotus Evora, 2:07.177
10. 48 Miller/Maassen, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2:07.182