“Sometimes the box score doesn’t tell the whole story of a race,” say Corvette racing after the battled their way through penalties, problems, the competitive GT field and torturous heat – track temperature reached 112°F.
However, despite everything the team came away with a third place finish for drivers Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen in the no.3 car, despite being on the receiving end of a stop-and-go penalty for brushing the air hose on the final pitstop, Jan Magnussen having to give up third, pressuring the second placed BMW, to serve the penalty.
The Dane returned to the track in fifth, which became fourth when the no.45 Porsche made its own pitstop. Magnussen was then able to snatch third away from the other – no.90 – BMW in the closing minutes as they struggled with their own problems. Magnussen took the checkered flag in third, a lap behind the BMW he had been fighting with before taking his penalty.
“It was unfortunate that we had that penalty in the pits,” said Magnussen. “It was one of those small things – sometimes the luck goes your way and sometimes the luck goes against you. I think our year has been the latter so far.”
In contrast the drama for the other Corvette – of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin – happened at the beginning of the race. The car stopped, with Beretta at the wheel, on the second lap with a fuel pressure problem. Unable to start the car where it rested off the track at turn five the no.4 was towed back the pits, where the team were able to affect a quick repair to the electrical problem.
“I made a good start, and suddenly the engine cut out,” Beretta said. “I knew I could not restart the car by myself on the track. These are the kind of things you want to forget and think about the next race. We have had so much bad luck, I hope it will end soon.”
The car made one more stop, just after the our mark in the two-hour, 45-minute race, but the three laps lost with the earlier problem proved an insurmountable hurdle, the 'Olis' finishing tenth in class.
“The team showed great character today,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “You can’t work any harder for a third-place finish than we did today. Hats off to Johnny, Jan and the crew for never giving up – their effort paid off with a podium finish, and that’s important in the points race.”