Trois-Rivieres: Corvette Racing qualifying report

Corvette Racing qualifies second in GTS for Trois-Rivieres. Both Corvettes eclipse previous lap record, will start Sunday's race 9th and 11th overall. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec -- Corvette Racing's C5-R powered Oliver Gavin to the second fastest...

Corvette Racing qualifies second in GTS for Trois-Rivieres. Both Corvettes eclipse previous lap record, will start Sunday's race 9th and 11th overall.

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec -- Corvette Racing's C5-R powered Oliver Gavin to the second fastest time in qualifying for the GTS class today at Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres. Gavin will start Sunday's Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in the 9th position overall after qualifying the #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R at 1:01:699, or 88.747 mph. His time eclipsed the previous qualifying lap record, set in 2002 by Ron Fellows, by nearly two seconds despite new rule changes that restrict engine power. Fellows brushed the wall at Turn 9 during an afternoon practice session and had limited time to qualify his #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R; his time of 1:02:223, or 88.000 mph, also bests the previous qualifying record but will place him 4th in the GTS class, or 11th overall for Sunday's 3-hour race.

"We have been very fast all weekend and although we're pleased with our times, we're disappointed we did not claim the GTS pole position today," said Doug Fehan, GM's program manager for Corvette Racing. "An interesting phenomenon that we did not count on was the running of the Trans-Am cars on the circuit just prior to our qualifying session. With the amount of tire compound those cars deposit on the track, I believe it might have helped our competitors to set faster times as they run a much different tire. We chose a harder tire on which to qualify because we believe it will provide us with a better opportunity for longevity during the race, so we possibly lost a couple of tenths in that respect. Overall I'm quite pleased with our setup and we should be in good shape for tomorrow's race. My hat goes off to the mechanics on our team, who really worked hard to get Ron's car back on the track after we brushed the wall in practice -- moments like those show how the Corvette team can really come together."

Oliver Gavin, driving the #4 Corvette C5-R, set the fastest time in qualifying during the early part of the session and felt confident about the car's setup for tomorrow's race. Once the #88 Ferrari of Tomas Enge surpassed his quick lap time, Gavin went out for a few more laps in an attempt to regain the pole position.

"I thought I might be able to go back out in qualifying and grab the GTS pole position, but I believe our car is now setup with the race in mind. We recognize that driver stints at Trois-Rivieres are very long -- around 60 laps or more -- so it is important for us to have a harder compound Goodyear tire for the race. When the flag drops tomorrow, I believe it will be another legendary battle between Chevrolet and Ferrari."

Ron Fellows brushed the wall in his #3 Corvette at Turn 9 in the practice session before qualifying. The ALMS Champion drove back to the paddock and the crew changed the tie-rod on the front right side; only minutes later the crew pushed him back into pit lane in time for the last minutes of qualifying. While Fellows was unable to reach the speeds of Gavin, his quick time bested his own previous qualifying lap record. Fellows, along with teammate Johnny O'Connell, will start Sunday's race from a similar position: During last weekend's Grand Prix of Sonoma, their #3 Corvette C5-R started from 28th on the grid and 4th in class after a shortened qualifying session. The veteran teammates went on to win the race.

"I hit the wall during practice and it hurt us in not having the entire 20 minutes to qualify," said Fellows. "The guys on the #3 Corvette really worked hard in that ten minutes to get us back out for qualifying. I think although I struggled a bit for grip during today, Johnny and I will be in good shape for tomorrow."

The Corvette Racing team will take to the track on Sunday morning for a practice session before staring the 3-hour Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres at 2:45 p.m.

-gm racing-

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