Both of the works Corvettes ended the ALMS race at Laguna Seca in one piece in the team's final race before they and the cars begin the journey to Le Mans later this week.
Both cars, staffed by Corvette's regular drivers 'Olis' Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta, Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell, were amongst the leaders of the GT class, Gavin leading the early challenge, charging up from seventh to first in his opening stint in the no.4 car.
Gavin and Beretta, who will be joined by Emmanuel Collard for Le Mans, remained in contention until the final stints. However, amongst two late race full course cautions, Gavin found himself held at bay in third place behind the no.90 BMW and the no.44 Flying Lizard Porsche.
“It was great to be fighting for the victory,” beamed Gavin. “We still need to find that last little bit, but it will come. We got some good points today and I’m pleased about that. This championship is going to be about grabbing podiums and points whenever you can because it’s full-out racing.”
“I wish that last caution hadn’t come because I think we had them,” he added “We had the speed but that last caution just killed any chance. It was great fun racing against the Porsche and the BMW – there was a bit of bumping, but it was all fair. In the back of my mind was always the thought that this car needs to go Le Mans in a few days, and any damage today could have a direct effect on how we perform there.”
The no.3 Magnussen/O'Connell car endured a more troubled race. A stop-go penalty after a mistake in the pits dropped the car to seventh after its second pitstop, from where Magnussen dragged the car back up to the lead a little after two-thirds distance and was part of the battle between BMW, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche teams as the time began to run out in the early evening. However, a right-front puncture inside the last half hour of racing saw the car lose touch with those ahead, eventually finishing sixth a full lap adrift of the fifth place finisher.
“It’s a shame when it goes that way towards the end and you feel all your hard work is for nothing,” Magnussen said. “It was just one of those days where it looked like we had a great shot at winning it in the beginning, and then things got in the way.”