O'CONNELL GOES BACK IN TIME AT ROAD AMERICA The subject of the phone call with Johnny O'Connell took Corvette Racing's star a little by surprise. After all, how often is he asked about a SuperVee race at Road America in 1986? "I can't even ...
O'CONNELL GOES BACK IN TIME AT ROAD AMERICA
The subject of the phone call with Johnny O'Connell took Corvette Racing's star a little by surprise. After all, how often is he asked about a SuperVee race at Road America in 1986? "I can't even remember that!" he exclaimed, taking a second to search his memory. And then it clicked.
"That would have been my first time racing there. It was in an Anson SA6" he recalled. "We might have been running second or third and lost the engine, which was about the fourth time that year that it had happened. There was a screw that held the butterfly valve in place and it broke. But I still had a blast going around the place."
"The place" is the site of next week's Generac 500 at Road America presented by Time Warner Cable. And it's a track that O'Connell has competed on with a number of different organizations in addition to the American Le Mans Series - SuperVee, IMSA GTO and Indy Lights. In nine starts, O'Connell has finished second six times including five times in the American Le Mans Series.
His lone victory came in 2006 with Ron Fellows for Corvette Racing. It was ultra-satisfying given that they beat their Corvette mates Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta, and two factory Aston Martin DBR9s.
O'Connell and Jan Magnussen enter Road America with five GT1 victories in six races and hold a 16-point championship lead over Beretta and Gavin.
"It's an amazing place," said O'Connell, who ranks first in Series career starts with an even 90 and second in victories with 30. "In all the years of racing, I had never won there except that time with Ron. There were more second places than you could believe. We've always loved the circuit. I think we'll be pretty fast once we roll of the truck so we expect a good weekend."
The Generac 500 at Road America presented by Time Warner Cable is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 from Elkhart Lake, Wis. The four-hour race will start at 4 p.m. CT with SPEED televising the race starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 10. XM will air the race from 4 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday via Sports Nation Channel 144. Live radio coverage will be available from American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.