The two works Corvette will start the six-hour ALMS race at Laguna Seca from third and fourth in the series GT class – equivalent to GT2 in the European series.
The no.3 car was the fastest of the two, driver Oliver Gavin setting his best time (1:23.101) on his fourth flying lap in the car he shared with fellow 'Oli' Olivier Beretta. Jan Magnussen lined his, and Johnny O'Connell's no.4 car up just behind with his fifth and final flying lap exactly one-tenth adrift of Gavin's marker.
The Risi Competizion Ferrari F430 of Jaime Melo and Gimmi Bruni took class pole with a time of 1:22.752. Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek's Extreme Speed Motorsport Ferrari will line up second in class and fourteenth overall in the 35 car field.
“I was just chipping away at the time on every lap,” explained Gavin. “I was hoping to find that last little bit so we could challenge the Ferraris on the front row. My engineer, Chuck Houghton, and the crew have been working really hard over the last two days to give the car a good balance. We’ve got the setup a lot closer, but we still need to find a little bit more. That’s the difference between where we are now and being on pole. I feel confident that the adjustments we’ll make tonight are going to help us and we’ll be strong for six hours tomorrow.”
Magnussen described a very similar situation in the other half of the team's garage. The car was very good, but I still don’t think I hit it exactly like I wanted,” he conceded. “We are trying some different things that might not have been the best for qualifying but it felt like the car got better and better on the run, which is very encouraging.”
The team are one many teams present at Laguna Seca who are preparing for next month's Le Mans 24 Hours, a fact that places conflicting pressure on the quartet of drivers, who have to race for series points after a shakey start to the season, while keeping themselves and the cars is good condition.
Gavin describes himself of “mindful” of the upcoming date with La Sarthe, but still places the priority on a good result this weekend before the cars begin their trans-Atlantic journey on Thursday.
The current team was further reminded of the legacy they are continuing with Corvette celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first appearance at Le Mans. To celebrate at Laguna Seca past drivers Dr. Dick Thompson and Dick Guldstrand were reunited with the historic vehicles they race at Le Mans in 1960 and 1967 respectively.