Corvette Racing Finishes 2nd and 3rd in 2012 ALMS Opener at Sebring
After a season of ups and downs in 2011, Corvette Racing got started on the right foot in 2012 with a strong performance in the American Le Mans Series GT class opener, the 60th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring held at Sebring International Raceway in Florida this past weekend. Team Corvette hit the track at Sebring with not only the brand new wide-body Compuware C6.R’s, but also new driver line-ups for both cars as well. In the No. 3 Corvette it was Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, and Jordan Taylor, while Corvette Racing veterans Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin teamed up with Richard Westbrook in the No. 4 car.
The No. 4 Corvette managed to hold the lead for the majority of the race, but lost several positions thanks to a late pit stop in the 12 hour long race. Oliver Gavin tells CorvetteRacing.com “The result was a bit of an anticlimax after leading and running at the front for most of the race. Our strategy anticipated a caution that didn’t come. Nevertheless, third place pays good points for the ALMS championship. Tommy drove brilliantly and Richard did a fantastic job, so our partnership is working well.”
Sebring was every bit the contest that fans have come to expect from the GT class, as the entire race was a back-and-forth battle between Corvette, Ferrari, and BMW right to the bitter end. However, in the final lap Jan Magnussen managed to pass the No. 71 Ferrari to secure second place for the No. 3 C6.R. “I didn’t even know that I had passed the Ferrari in the darkness. We were struggling at the end of the race with the track conditions, so second is a huge bonus and a fantastic foundation to build on. Sebring is such a difficult race, and I’m very happy with a podium finish.” Magnussen said.
Corvette Racing will next take to the track on April 14th, as they continue their hunt for the ALMS championship at Long Beach.
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring GT Results
(Combined ALMS/WEC Top 10):
1. 56 Muller/Hand/Summerton BMW E92 M3, 307
2. 03 Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor, Corvette C6.R, 307
3. 71 Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci, Ferrari 458 Italia, 307 (WEC)
4. 4 Gavin/Milner/Westbrook, Corvette C6.R, 307
5. 155 Muller/Auberlen/Alzen, BMW E92 M3, 307
6. 77 Lietz/Lieb/Pilet, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 306 (WEC)
7. 48 Miller/Maassen/Bell, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 303
8. 044 Neiman/Law/Lally, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 303
9. 02 Brown/Segal/Lazzaro, Ferrari F458 Italia, 303
10. 97 Mucke/Fernandez/Turner, Aston Martin Vantage V8, 292 (WEC)