LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 3, 2012 – The heat was on at Mid-Ohio today during GT qualifying for Saturday's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series. As the ambient temperature topped 94 degrees and the track temperature climbed to 110 degrees, Antonio Garcia qualified the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R fifth in the hotly contested class at 1:19.536 (102.213 mph). Tommy Milner was right behind his teammate, qualifying the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R sixth at 1:19.727 (101.958 mph).
Garcia was .238 seconds off GT pacesetter Joerg Mueller's 1:19.298 (102.510 mph) lap in the No. 55 BMW, and Milner was .429 seconds back. The eight fastest qualifiers ran quicker than last year's pole-winning time on the 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
"I had a really good balance in qualifying, and if I'd put together a perfect lap my time would have improved," Garcia said. "There are four guys ahead of me who put it together better than I did.
"There was a lot of pressure in qualifying, and everyone was pushing very hard," he explained. "Because of all the different series running on the track, we seemed to struggle a little to make our tires work . That is something we will need to take into account tomorrow because the track will certainly change, and I hope it will develop in our favor. We know how our qualifying performance is; now we need to know how our race performance is."
Garcia turned his quickest time on his fifth flying lap, and Milner posted his best lap on his sixth circuit.
"I'm not disappointed with sixth, but I'm not super stoked," Milner said. "We made some big changes in the car in the last practice session, working on the race setup. Then at the end we tried to help the car for qualifying.
"Every session we're out there we learn a lot about this race track," he noted. "It's definitely a challenge when we have different series running and different rubber going down. This track especially can change from morning to afternoon and from day to day. When we go out for warm-up tomorrow morning, there will be a lot of IndyCar rubber on the track and we'll see how the car feels."
The two-hour, 45-minute Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge will start at will start at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 4, and will be broadcast on ABC at 2 p.m. ET.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge GT Qualifying (Top 10)
1. 55 Mueller/Auberlen, BMW E92 M3, 1:19.298
2. 02 Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:19.329
3. 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:19.445
4. 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 458 Italia, 1:19.471
5. 3 Magnussen/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 1:19.536
6. 4 Gavin/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 1:19.727
7. 56 Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:19.754
8. 48 Miller/Maassen, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:20.209
9. 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:21.222
10. Goossens/Kendall, SRT Viper GTSR, 1:22.158
Source: Team Chevy