Corvette Racing Ends 2011 ALMS Season with 4th at Petit Le Mans

Corvette Racing capped off the 2011 American Le Mans Series October 1st at the Petit Le Mans held at Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Georgia. The No. 4 Corvette Racing Compuware C6.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, and Richard Westbrook managed to complete a total of 366 laps in the nine and-a-half hour race, finishing a respectable 4th. Like most of the other AMLS races this year, Petit Le Mans was a battle from start to finish, and nothing came easily for Team Corvette. Oliver Gavin explained to, “It was mayhem on every lap. It was just insanity, people driving all over the track, sideways, on and off the grass. I have to say the traffic was by far the worst I’ve seen. Fifty-three cars on this track is just too many.”

Magnussen added, “It’s been a really, really tough year with strong competition from BMW, Porsche and Ferrari. I think we’ve learned a lot, and we’ll bring that forward to next year. We’ll come back stronger and try to win the championship. We’ve had some hard races and we’ve had some bad luck, but all in all we got the best out of this season that we could.”

The No. 3 Corvette Racing Compuware C6.R, piloted by Tommy Milner and Oliver Beretta, was unfortunately unable to finish the race due to a broken gear box, leaving them with 17th place in the GT class. Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager, told, “Not every race goes exactly as you plan it, and this was one of those events. We had a very unfortunate and uncharacteristic gearbox failure in the No. 3 Corvette that knocked it out of competition. As so often happens, the team rallied around the No. 4 Corvette. Although the drivers were happy with the car, we couldn’t maintain the pace with the leaders. The crew ran great pit stops, the engineers had great fuel strategy, and everyone executed well – but today we finished fourth. We’ll happily take that as we move into winter testing.”

Corvette Racing may have had its share of struggles in the 2011 Season, but all-in-all it would have to be ultimately considered very successful showing considering the team finished second overall in the GT class team standings. It’s important to note that this is the team’s highest finish since they began racing in the GT series in 2009. The team also received several honors at the 2011 ALMS Night of Champions as Jan Magnussen was officially announced as winner of the “Most Popular Driver” award for 2011 – as voted on via online ballots by the fans themselves. Additionally, Dan Binks of Corvette Racing was named GT Class “Mechanic of The Year”, and was given a $5,000 prize. Binks generously chose to donate the prize money to the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer on behalf of the entire Corvette Racing team.

Corvette Racing won’t be in action again until next spring, when the 2012 American Le Mans Series kicks off with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 17.

Petit Le Mans GT Results (Top 10):
Pos./Car No./Drivers/Car/Laps
1. 51 Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer, Ferrari 458 Italia, 367
2. 045 Bergmeister/Long/Pilet, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 367
3. 55 Auberlen/Werner/Farfus, BMW M3 GT, 367
4. 4 Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook, Corvette C6.R, 366
5. 17 Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 365
6. 01 Sharp/van Overbeek/Farnbacher, Ferrari F458 Italia, 365
7. 58 Firman/Jakubowski/Hallyday, Ferrari 458 Italia, 361
8. 044 Neiman/Law/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 361
9. 56 Mueller/Hand/Priaulx, BMW M3 GT, 359
10. 02 Brown/Cosmo/Bell, Ferrari F458 Italia, 357
17. 3 Beretta/Milner/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 76

About the author

Clifton Klaverweiden

Clifton has been a car fanatic since his late teens, when he started the restoration of his '67 Camaro. He considers himself a student of automotive science and technology, and particularly loves all things LSX. And, although he has an appreciation for everything, from imports to exotics, his true passion will always be for GM musclecars.
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