Team makes massive gains from practice to qualifying on damp day in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 20, 2013) – Corvette Racing didn’t let heavy rains and an unfamiliar track deter its efforts in qualifying Friday for the inaugural American Le Mans Series race at Circuit of The Americas. The two Compuware Chevrolet Corvette C6.Rs earned the second- and third-place starting spots in the GT field for Saturday’s two-hour, 45-minute race.
Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette qualified on the outside of the GT front row with a lap of 2:17.442 (89.056 mph) around the 3.4-mile, 20-turn layout. The Spaniard, who drives with Jan Magnussen, set his best time on his final lap to overtake teammate Oliver Gavin for the second spot.
Gavin posted a best lap of 2:17.594 (88.957 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette. The Englishman and seatmate Tommy Milner come to Circuit of the Americas with a two-point lead in the GT drivers’ standings as they try to repeat as class champions. Garcia and Magnussen are second in the championship and sit just two points back.
In the manufacturer standings, Chevrolet leads BMW by 20 points. Corvette Racing also heads the team championship with three rounds left in the season.
Friday’s qualifying effort saw a remarkable turnaround for the two Corvettes. After placing fourth and seventh in the day’s first practice and fifth and eighth in the second session, team and Michelin tire engineers developed a sound strategy for time trials. The results spoke for themselves. Only Joey Hand qualified faster at 2:17.178 (89.227 mph).