Corvette Racing’s two yellow and black C6.Rs will form the American Le Mans Series’ GT front row for tomorrow’s opening round of the joint ALMS and FIA World Endurance Championship after an exciting and action-packed 15-minute qualifying session this afternoon.
Olly’s best lap in the No. 4 Corvette of 1:59.007 was shaved by Jan [Magnussen] by just one thousandth of a second to secure the series’ fastest GT lap. They GM factory drivers both narrowly missed out on the combined WEC/ALMS pole position which was taken by AF Corse’s Gimmi Bruni in a Ferrari 458 Italia with a record-breaking time of 1:58.427.
“It’s great we’ve started the season off with a 1-2 qualifying performance in the ALMS,” said a satisfied Olly. “The guys have worked extremely hard over the winter getting this all together and that’s now paid off. We’ve got to convert it into a decent result tomorrow and this is just a very small step towards being victorious, but at least we’re up the sharp end. Hopefully we’ll be able to avoid most of the mess that often occurs mid field, but who knows what will transpire tomorrow?”
The Northamptonshire, UK-based driver continued: “I’d have liked to pip Jan if I could but it’s always a good battle between us two and there’s rarely much between us. He just managed to squeeze another lap out of the fuel and I couldn’t – I got a bit of a bobble coming into T5 on my last lap. It would have been great to have another shot at it, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.
“I’m pleased with the car, for the team, and really looking forward to tomorrow. The Ferraris are obviously very fast but it seems like we’re right there on pace and consistency and can battle with anyone. Our race car is good to drive and doesn’t deliver any nasty surprises, so I’m pleased about that.”
Oliver will be on track in Sebring for the 12-hour race on Saturday, 17th March, beginning at 10:30 am (EST)/2:30pm (GMT). The race will be broadcast in the USA at noon on Sunday, 18th March on ABC and shown live on ESPN3. Motors TV in Europe will show the race from 2.15pm, break for 2.5 hours at 7pm then run through to the flag from 9.30pm, and there is full coverage for all outside the USA on ALMS.com.