Corvettes Set Fastest Times in Friday Practice Session The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team set the fastest time in the GTS class during Friday's one-hour, 30-minute practice session before Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Oliver ...
Corvettes Set Fastest Times in Friday Practice Session
The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team set the fastest time in the GTS class during Friday's one-hour, 30-minute practice session before Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Oliver Gavin, driving the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R, posted a best time of 1:01:877, or 88.492 mph. The Briton's practice time eclipsed the circuit's GTS qualifying record of 1:03:496, which Ron Fellows set for Corvette in 2002. Along with teammate Kelly Collins, Gavin will try to capture a second straight Corvette victory at Trois-Rivieres. In 2002, Collins and teammate Andy Pilgrim won the GTS class at the inaugural event for the American Le Mans Series, finishing fifth overall at the 11-turn, 1.521-mile circuit. "We're in pretty good shape today," said Doug Fehan, GM's program manager for Corvette Racing. "The cars that do well at this track are able to use the least amount of brakes and we're working on maintaining a setup where that's possible for our drivers. We really enjoy this circuit and I'm sure it will be a tough battle with the Ferraris this weekend." Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, driving the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R, also bested the previous qualifying record after recording a time of 1:02:379, or 87.780 mph. The newly designed #3 and #4 Corvettes come fresh from a GTS victory at the Grand Prix of Sonoma. Corvette Racing is undefeated in the American Le Mans Series in 2003 and leads the drivers' and manufacturers' championship in the GTS class.
Chevrolet History at Trois-Rivieres
While the Corvette C5-R hopes to capture two straight ALMS victories at Trois-Rivieres, the road course is rich in Chevrolet racing history. The legendary American brand has 35 wins at the track to date, with Richard Brown first capturing a victory for Chevrolet in 1968's Labatt Competitions at Trois-Rivieres in a Chevy Camaro. Gene Bothello first won in a Corvette at the circuit in a 35-lap Trans-Am race in 1979. Current factory Corvette driver Ron Fellows is aiming to capture his third victory in a Chevrolet at the Trois-Rivieres circuit. Fellows won twice at the road course in a Chevrolet Camaro in 1995 and 1996 during SCCA Trans Am competition. Fellows went on to win 19 races in only 95 starts in Trans Am--a distinction that ranks him 5th all-time behind legendary driver Mark Donahue. The 2002 GTS Champion is currently at the top of the ALMS point standings along with teammate Johnny O'Connell.
Corvette Leads ALMS Point Standings
The Chevrolet 1-2 finish in the GTS class during last weekend's Grand Prix of Sonoma maintained Corvette Racing's undefeated streak in the American Le Mans Series. GM's premier factory racing program heads into this weekend's Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres at the top of the ALMS point standings. The driver and manufacturer standings are as follows:
ALMS Drivers' Standings (GTS):
1. Ron Fellows, 59; Johnny O'Connell, 59
3. Kelly Collins, 55; Oliver Gavin, 55
5. Franck Freon, 26; Tomas Enge, 26; Peter Kox, 26
8. Four drivers tied at 22
ALMS Manufacturers' Standings (GTS):
1. Chevrolet, 66
2. Ferrari, 51
3. Dodge, 22
Trois-Rivieres Circuit Facts
Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres has been a successful motorsports event for 34 years in the Quebec city of Trois-Rivieres, located northeast of Montreal and southwest of Quebec City. The American Le Mans Series joined the event for the first time in 2002; the tie-in of the ALMS with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans creates a natural fit in French-speaking Quebec. The race circuit provides many areas for passing and is known for the "Arch" that cars travel under before Turn 3. This year's event will be televised live on Speed Channel, starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 3rd.