Bowtie Bullet Points: Chevy Notes for the Grand Prix of Mosport Corvette Sets Fastest Time in Friday Test Session The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team set the fastest time in the GTS class during Friday's one-hour, 30-minute test...
Bowtie Bullet Points: Chevy Notes for the Grand Prix of Mosport
Corvette Sets Fastest Time in Friday Test Session The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team set the fastest time in the GTS class during Friday's one-hour, 30-minute test session before the Grand Prix of Mosport. Oliver Gavin and Kelly Collins, driving the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R, posted a best time of 1:15:804, or 116.780 mph. Gavin's test session time bests the previous qualifying record, 1:15:986, which was set in 2002 by Terry Borcheller in a Saleen S7R. Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, driving the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R, recorded a best time of 1:16:353, or 115.940 mph. The newly designed #3 and #4 Corvettes come fresh from three straight GTS victories, in Atlanta, Sonoma and Trois-Rivières. Corvette Racing is undefeated in the American Le Mans Series in 2003 and leads the drivers' and manufacturers' championship in the GTS class. <pre> Friday Test Session Results (GTS): Pos. Team No. / Car Time 1. Corvette Racing #4 Corvette C5-R 1:15.804 2. Veloqx Prodrive #88 Ferrari 550 M 1:16:148 3. Corvette Racing #3 Corvette C5-R 1:16:353 4. Veloqx Prodrive #80 Ferrari 550 M 1:16:461 5. Team Olive Garden #0 Ferrari 550 M 1:18:374 6. Carsport America #71 Dodge Viper 1:19:057 7. Konrad Motorsport #2 Saleen S7R 1:19:787 8. Carsport America #17 Dodge Viper (no time)
</pre> Fellows Looks for Home-Track Advantage at Mosport The Toronto-area resident will be seeking his third consecutive win in American Le Mans Series competition at Mosport, located less than an hour from his front door and the circuit where he saw his first automobile race at the age of nine. Fellows and Johnny O'Connell have won the GTS class in the ALMS event at Mosport the past two years, each time coming back from some adversity. Two years ago, Terry Borcheller pulled a major upset in qualifying when he captured the pole position in a Saleen S7R. During the race, Fellows was pushed off the track and sustained body damage, but nevertheless, he and O'Connell roared back through the field to score the class win. In 2002, Borcheller again beat Fellows in qualifying, snapping the Canadian's season-long perfect record of winning every pole position. But the Corvette performed flawlessly in the race and Fellows and O'Connell won again. "We'll have our work cut out for us this weekend," said Fellows. "But while we've won at Mosport the past two years, they haven't been easy wins. Each one has been a challenge just as this year will be."
Chevy History at Mosport
While the team of Fellows and O'Connell will try to capture a third straight GTS victory at Mosport in their championship-winning Corvette C5-R, the Canadian circuit is rich with decades of Chevrolet history. John Surtees, world champion seven times over on motorcycles and in race cars, claimed Chevy's first victory at Mosport when he won the 1965 Player's 200 race for the Canadian Sports Car Championship. Driving the all-conquering Lola T70, the Briton blasted his Chevrolet-powered prototype through a field that included the likes of Porsche, Lotus and Cobra. Surtees battled Jim Hall in his Chevy-powered Chaparral 2A throughout the 80-lap, two-heat race, eventually winning with an average speed of 97.5 mph. It would be the first in a long line of significant Chevrolet victories at Mosport. The first Corvette victory at the circuit came roughly one decade later. The event was the 1978 Molson Diamond Trans-Am competition and Greg Pickett won the 40-lap race with a remarkable 38-second margin over the rest of the pack, which included the likes of Bob Tullius, Bill Adam and Ludwig Heimrath. Pickett's 7.0-liter Chevy V-8 powered him to three additional Trans-Am victories that season, securing the Category II championship -- one of four Trans-Am championships for Corvette over a six-year period.
O'Connell No Stranger to Mosport
Although many fans consider Mosport to be the exclusive domain of Corvette driver and native Toronto resident Ron Fellows, it is no secret that Fellows's teammate Johnny O'Connell has certainly put his mark on 2.5-mile circuit over the years. At the inaugural ALMS event at Mosport in 1999, O'Connell captured the overall victory in a Panoz LMP-1 in his previous role as a prototype driver for Panoz, winning with a 15-second margin over the next car. O'Connell would go on to capture two more victories at the track in a Corvette, winning the GTS class in 2001 and 2002 with Ron Fellows. During Friday's test session, O'Connell started by immediately setting the fastest times in the GTS class. "I just love racing here," said O'Connell. "It's probably my favorite race track on the schedule and all the corners here just seem to make sense. It was designed beautifully." He is currently tied for first place in the GTS drivers' championship.
Corvette Leads ALMS Point Standings
Coming off an impressive 1-2 GTS victory at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, which maintained Corvette Racing's undefeated streak in the American Le Mans Series, GM's premier factory racing program heads into this weekend's Grand Prix of Mosport at the top of the ALMS point standings. The driver and manufacturer standings are as follows:
Chevrolet continued its winning ways in NASCAR Winston Cup competition last weekend as Robby Gordon won the Sirius 400 at the Glen in his Richard Childress Racing Monte Carlo. Chevy took four of the top five finishing positions, and leads the NASCAR manufacturer's championship standings. Chevrolets will race in four major motorsports series this weekend: ALMS at Mosport, IRL at Kentucky Speedway, NASCAR at Michigan International Speedway and NHRA at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. Chevrolet is the only manufacturer currently competing in the ALMS, NASCAR Winston Cup, NHRA and IRL.