Corvette Put Faith in Endurance For Utah Grand Prix

Corvette Racing remained positive despite their two GT-class cars qualifying seventh and eighth fastest on a weekend where the team have struggled in the competitive series.

However, despite the car's relatively lowly start the lead Corvette – that of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta – less than four tenths behind the Risi Competizione Ferrari that paced the class.

“We have a very good car and a very good package, and we are running in a very competitive series,” said Beretta who lapped the 3mile track in 1:48.022. “This is the first time we have run in Salt Lake City with this high temperature. We are only three tenths from the pole, and I know we can improve. I'm quite happy – we just need to make some more changes on the car and we will be OK in the race.”

The two Corvettes were among the cars that ran the most lap in the heat for the qualifying session, and though Johnny O'Connell, qualifying the sister no.3 car set his fastest lap on his second lap Beretta's fastest lap was his sixth time around the track in the 20-minute session – while many other teams stopped after as few as three or four circuits. Naturally, with that longevity in mind Corvette are hopeful the heat and high altitudes could play into their hands.

“That was not a qualifying run that I thought would end up eighth on the grid,” said O'Connell, whose lap was a further two-tenths behind his teammate. “We don't know what tires the other guys were using, but we are on a Michelin tire that we know will be good for an hour in very hot conditions. We did four or five laps within a tenth of a second at the end of our qualifying run. Perhaps the competition will start coming back to us at the end of a stint. We've got great handling cars, but for some reason the speed's not quite there.”