by Alex Luft
Sep 2nd, 2012
Lighting up the streets of Baltimore with its thunderous exhaust this Saturday, Corvette Racing labored on Labor Day weekend, finishing second and sixth in the GT class of the two-hour race. The race saw tremendous competition in the closely-contested GT class, where the first four finishers represented four manufacturings, including Porsche, Chevrolet, Ferrari, and BMW.
Piloting the No. 4 Corvette C6.R, Tommy Milner started on the GT pole of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor before hitting a traffic jam caused by several prototypes on the first turn. Milner made it through the mess and led for the first ten laps before being blocked by a prototype, allowing the No. 55 BMW and No. 17 Porsche an opportunity to pass. The BMW was penalized for avoidable contact but the No. 01 Ferrari got by Milner before a pit stop and driver change. It was then that Oliver Gavin took over, coming second out of the pits. Gavin held on to the position until the checkered flag, coming in just 2.2 seconds behind the winning No. 17 Porsche of Bryan Sellers and Wolf Henzler, which finsihed fourth overall. The second-place finish furthers Gavin’s and Milner’s lead in the driver championship.
Antonio Garcia started the No. 3 Corvette C6.R in third, but wasn’t as fortunate as the No. 04 car in the first turn: the jam furnished the C6.R with a slow tire puncture, forcing Garcia to pit on the third lap, dropping the C6.R to 12th in the GT class. After the early pit stop, Garcia moved up to sixth before handing the reigns to Jan Magnussen at the 46-minute mark. Magnussen came out seventh from the pits, passed the No. 48 Porsche for sixth, and held on to the sixth position until the checkered flag.
Even though the team didn’t take first, it did accomplish its goal of finishing ahead of BMW: “Our sole strategic mission today was to finish ahead of the BMW,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Ordinarily we might take a slightly different perspective, but at a street race like this, with such closely matched cars, you have to have realistic goals. Our objective was to finish ahead of the BMW today, and we accomplished that. I’m proud of this team for its performance under pressure.”
Gavin and Milner now unofficially lead the GT driver championship by 28 points (124) over teammates Garcia and Magnussen (96). In third is BMW driver Dirk Mueller (94) while Joey Hand is fourth (91). With two races remaining in the season, Chevrolet continues to lead the GT manufacturer championship by 19 points (145) over BMW (126), Porsche (123), and Ferrari (110).
The next Corvette Racing competition is the American Le Mans Series VIR240 at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday, September 15.
Results from the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge (GT class) are as follows:
- 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 67
- 4 Gavin/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 67
- 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 458 Italia, 67
- 56 D. Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 67
- 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 67
- 3 Magnussen/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 67
- 44 Long/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 67
- 55 J. Mueller/Auberlen, BMW E92 M3, 67
- 48 Miller/Maassen, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 66
- 23 Sweedler/Bell, Lotus Evora, 66
Photo Credit: Oliver Gavin