Road Atlanta: Corvette Racing race report

Corvette Racing wins the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta; Oliver Gavin and Kelly Collins capture GTS victory on Corvette's 50th birthday. ATLANTA - The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team won the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta on Sunday ...

Corvette Racing wins the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta; Oliver Gavin and Kelly Collins capture GTS victory on Corvette's 50th birthday.

ATLANTA - The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team won the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta on Sunday afternoon at Road Atlanta. The victory coincides with Corvette's 50th Anniversary celebration, taking place simultaneously in Nashville and Bowling Green, Ky. Sunday's win maintains Corvette Racing's undefeated streak in the American Le Mans Series and marks the team's 30th consecutive podium finish.

"Our team wanted to win today for a number of different reasons," said Doug Fehan, GM's Program Manager for Corvette Racing. "With the Corvette's 50th birthday party celebration going on right now in Nashville, it feels great to be able to have our car on the top of the podium. It's an important victory for the team; we wanted to set the record straight after Le Mans because this is a world-class team, competing in a world-class event, with a world-class race car. Somewhere, Zora Arkus-Duntov is looking down on all of this with a smile on his face."

The #4 Corvette C5-R started from the second position in the GTS field, but lost position on the first lap of the race after a stalled prototype car caused traffic on the grid. Driver Kelly Collins fought back for position during his stint, eventually passing the Ferraris and taking the lead from the #3 Corvette C5-R after 24 minutes. Teammate Oliver Gavin took over shortly before the 1-hour mark and held position.

"Our Corvette ran flawlessly today," said Oliver Gavin, driver of the #4 Corvette C5-R. "My teammate Kelly Collins did a great first stint and got us the lead. I tried to look after the tires throughout the day because of the heat, but not so much as I knew the Ferraris were right on our back and I focused on getting some consistent laps down. It's a great day for all of us at Corvette."

After suffering a blown left rear tire shortly after a pit stop on the 46th lap, Johnny O'Connell fought back in the #3 Corvette C5-R to gain lost time. Ron Fellows took over after a quick driver change and, despite a significant time deficit, tracked down the #80 Ferrari and managed to pass with just eight minutes to go, securing Corvette's two cars on the podium.

"We had some bad luck with a tire puncture and it put us way back in the pack," said Johnny O'Connell, driver of the #3 Corvette C5-R. "But Ron and I dug deep and fought back and I think it speaks volumes about our resolve. Considering the circumstances we are proud we could put our car on the podium, especially on Corvette's birthday."

The Corvette Racing team will take to the track again at the end of July, for Round 3 of the American Le Mans Series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Ca.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Kelly Collins , Oliver Gavin
Teams Corvette Racing