Category Archives: Archived News

Corvette Racing Wins GT2 in Grand Prix of Mosport

Magnussen and O’Connell Score First Victory for New-Generation Corvette, Gavin and Beretta Take Third

BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Aug. 30, 2009 – Corvette Racing returned to the American Le Mans Series winner’s circle with the first victory for the GT2 Corvette C6.R at the Grand Prix of Mosport. In only the third race for the production-based GT2 race car, Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen scored a .331-second victory in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R over the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT of Jamie Melo and Pierre Kaffer. Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta finished third in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, one lap behind their sister car. The winning Corvette C6.R completed 117 laps on the 2.459-mile Mosport International Raceway road course and finished sixth overall. Read more →

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Corvette Racing Takes Third at Road America

Magnussen and O’Connell Repeat Podium Finish with New GT2 Corvette C6.R

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., August 16, 2009 – The battle raged over hill and dale at one of America’s great racing circuits. When the smoke cleared, Corvette Racing was on the podium for the second consecutive American Le Mans Series race with the new GT2 Corvette C6.R.

Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen finished third in the GT2 division of the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America in their No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, one lap down to the winning No. 90 Rahal-Letterman Racing BMW of Joey Hand and Bill Auberlen. Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta finished sixth in the GT2 class in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R after an unscheduled pit stop following contact with another car.

The GT2 race was essentially decided when the first full-course caution period began at 15 minutes into the two-hour, 45-minute race. The race-leading prototype was between the Nos. 90 and 92 BMWs and the rest of the GT2 entries. When officials started a wave-by to regroup the field, the BMWs effectively gained a one-lap advantage on their rivals. At that point, it became a race for third among Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Panoz, Ford and Viper.

O’Connell was fifth with 20 minutes to go when he passed Pierre Kaffer’s Ferrari 430 GT in the first turn to take fourth in GT2. Then he pulled off a pass on Patrick Long in the championship-leading Porsche 911 RSR with two minutes remaining to capture the third spot on the podium.

“It’s fun to have Corvettes racing again!” O’Connell exclaimed. “Kaffer was doing a great job, but I could see that he was struggling on used tires. He had a wiggle exiting Turn 1 and that allowed me to get by him. Then I had to chase down Patrick in the Porsche. There were a couple areas where we were faster, so I was thinking about setting him up there. Then going into Turn 5, he carried a little too much speed and missed the apex, so I had to throw it in there. There was some contact, but it only happened because he opened the door. We had a great race.”

Magnussen started the No. 3 Corvette C6.R from fourth on the GT2 grid. After the BMWs gained a lap as a result of the safety car, Magnussen found himself in the middle of an intense four-car fight for third with Joerg Bergmeister (Porsche), Jaime Melo (Ferrari) and his teammate Beretta all within 1.33 seconds of each other. Magnussen passed Bergmeister at the 47-minute mark to take third, and seven minutes later Beretta passed Melo for fifth.

“I had a good fight with Bergmeister,” Magnussen said. “The Corvette was a little faster in some places, and he was faster in other places. It was a matter of picking my place to go for it, and it came at Turn 5. The Corvette C6.R really stops well, so that was a good place to pass. I couldn’t open a gap, but I could control the pace.”

Beretta had a front-row view of the action. “Where I was sitting, it was a great show,” he said. “It’s nice for the fans, for the drivers, for the teams, and for the manufacturers. Everyone wants that. I’m really happy about Corvette Racing’s work. This is the second race with the GT2 Corvette and we are already in the hunt. The main target is to finish the race and have a good pace, and I’m happy about what we have done so far.”

Both Corvettes pitted under caution at 1:14 for fuel, tires and a driver change. O’Connell replaced Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette and Gavin replaced Beretta in the No. 4 Corvette. After the pit stop exchange, Gavin was fourth and O’Connell fifth. The No. 92 BMW was penalized for a pit infraction, leaving the No. 90 BMW a lap ahead of the field.

O’Connell then passed Gavin for fourth at 1:26. Six minutes later the No. 4 Corvette pitted for a new right-side door, losing a lap.

“On the second restart there were some slower cars at the front of the pack and we all bunched up behind them,” Gavin said. “I managed to work my way through and into fourth place behind the Ferrari. Then coming down through Canada Corner, a prototype clipped the mirror off my right door. At that point Johnny got by me and I was told I had to pit because the rules require a right-side mirror. That kind of ruined our race. We were going to be able to run all the way to the finish, but then there were two more full-course cautions and we were a sitting duck. It really just wasn’t our day.”

The No. 3 Corvette with O’Connell on board pitted again at 2:11 for tires and fuel, while Kaffer’s Ferrari took fuel only. With four fresh Michelin tires, O’Connell was able to overtake the red F430 on a restart at 2:27, and then pass Long’s Porsche in the final minutes.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about racing for third,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “We look at this as a victory for Corvette Racing. The unfortunate part is that we were beaten by three cars – two BMWs and the pace car. Nonetheless it was a great show, a tremendous duel to the finish, and a fantastic effort by the Corvette Racing team to bring both cars home.”

Corvette Racing’s next event is the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., on August 28-30. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 30. SPEED will televise the race live at 3 p.m. EDT.

Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase GT2 Results:

Pos./Drivers/Car/Laps

1. Hand/Auberlen, BMW E92 M3, 69

2. Mueller/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 68

3. O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 68

4. Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 68

5. Melo/Kaffer, Ferrari 430 GT, 68

6. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 67

7. Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT MK 7, 66

8. Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 65

9. Feinberg/Hall, Dodge Viper, 63

10. Henzler/Miller, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 56

11. Farnbacher/James, Panoz Esperante GTLM, 54

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Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Fourth in First GT2 Race

Magnussen and O’Connell Put New GT2 Corvette C6.R on Mid-Ohio Podium

LEXINGTON, Ohio, August 8, 2009 – It was the dawn of a new day for Corvette Racing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as the next-generation Corvette C6.R finished second and fourth in the hard-fought GT2 category in the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series. On an overcast and rainy day, the twin Corvettes shined as Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen finished as runners-up in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, 21 seconds behind the class-winning Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister. Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta finished fourth in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, one lap down after getting caught out by the safety car during a full-course caution.

“It was a really good run and we didn’t have any issues,” said Magnussen. “It’s very difficult in traffic, even more difficult than with the GT1 cars. You really have to be smart and aggressive – this wasn’t the race to risk the cars, so I lost a little time being too cautious. The GT2 Corvette C6.R is a fantastic race car, and very easy to drive fast. We still have a few minor things to sort out, but I think we’re already there.”

O’Connell took over from Magnussen at 1:27 into the two-hour, 45-minute race on the first pit stop for fuel and tires. He stopped again for five seconds of fuel at 2:02, while the class-leading Porsche team gambled on making it to the finish without a second pit stop. They won that bet, and O’Connell settled for second.

“Today was such an impressive debut for the new GT2 Corvettes, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from this team,” O’Connell said. “We’ve gained so much experience in GT1 over the years, and Corvette Racing sets the standards for car construction and preparation. It’s great to be back, showing what Corvette and Chevrolet are all about.”

As the race began under the threat of rain, the first start was waved off by officials. The field got the green flag on the next lap, and Magnussen quickly slotted into second, gaining a position on the No. 62 Ferrari. Farther back in the pack, Gavin was shuffled back to seventh. Gavin then methodically improved his position, gaining the third spot on the 20th lap. By the 22nd lap, the two Corvettes were running nose-to-tail in a familiar formation.

“Those first few laps were frantic,” Gavin said. “The first start was waved off, we were forming up again, and it all got rather confusing. A BMW got by me, and then the Ford GT, so I had to hustle my way past them. We had a bit of contact, a little rubbing and banging. I got a few shoves, and I gave them back. GT2 is a great class to race in!”

As the sprinkles continued and the track became damp, the pace never slowed.

“It got a little loose sometimes, but because we had so much heat in the Michelin tires, it wasn’t an issue for me,” Magnussen explained.

The No. 4 Corvette pitted at 1:26 with Beretta replacing Gavin, and the No. 4 pitted one lap later with O’Connell replacing Magnussen. The decisive moment came at 1:50 when a full-course caution began when the No. 19 LMP2 prototype went off the track. The race leader was between the two Corvettes, which were four seconds apart on the track. Consequently the leading No. 45 Porsche and the second-place No. 3 Corvette gained nearly a full lap on the rest of the GT2 entries when officials began a wave-by to reform the field.

“There was a small gap between the Corvettes, and I could hear the excitement in (crew chief) Dan Bink’s voice on the radio when he said, ‘Don’t let him by! Don’t let him by!'” O’Connell recalled. “I already had that figured out, because it’s happened to us enough over the years when we lost out on a safety car wave-by.”

When racing resumed, a pack of five GT2 cars were fighting furiously for third place, separated by just 3.5 seconds. Beretta’s No. 4 Corvette C6.R and the No. 92 BWM driven by Dirk Mueller eventually broke free, and Mueller took the third place on the podium with a pass going into the first turn with five minutes remaining.

“It’s not our usual result, but nonetheless today was a great victory for Corvette Racing,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “To come out here with only a few days of testing on two brand-new race cars, run with the leaders, demonstrate our pit stop prowess and race strategy, and finish second is a testament to how hard this team works. I think every fan of sports car racing now knows there is going to be some spectacular GT racing in the American Le Mans Series.”

The ethanol-powered Corvette C6.Rs also swept the top two spots in the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge with the best overall scores among the 26 GT and prototype entries based on energy used, greenhouse gases emitted, and petroleum fuels displaced.

“Not only did we see a tremendous display of great planning and execution today, but also we saw Corvette win the MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge yet again,” Fehan said. “That is emblematic of the new General Motors – fast, mean, lean, and green.”

Corvette Racing’s next event is the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on August 14-16. The two-hour, 45-minute race is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. CDT on Sunday, August 16. SPEED will televise the race live at 3 p.m. EDT.

Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio GT2 Results:

Pos./Drivers/Car/Laps

1. Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 108

2. O’Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 108

3. Mueller/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 107

4. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 107

5. Melo/Kaffer, Ferrari 430 GT, 107

6. Henzler/Ragginger, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 107

7. Farnbacher/James, Panoz Esperante GTLM, 107

8. Hand/Auberlen, BMW E92 M3, 106

9. Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 104

10. Robertson/Robertson/Murry, Ford GT MK 7,

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Engine Woes Cause Heartbreak For Gavin At Spa

It seems that 2009 is not destined to offer up victory for Oliver Gavin in a 24-hour race, unlike in so many other years in the racing driver’s illustrious career. After being in contention for the lead for nearly 22 of the 24 hours at the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium this weekend, engine failure prevented the Briton and his Belgian SRT team from seeing the challenge through to the chequered flag. After a very lengthy stop in the garage, the Corvette C6.R was able to complete one lap at the end of the race in order to be classified in xx place.

The 36-year-old Corvette Racing driver was undoubtedly a star of the Spa show – not just within the SRT team, but within the race as a whole. After taking the start from 5th place on the grid, it took Oliver just 15 laps to get into the lead. Whenever on the track, the Northamptonshire-based driver was consistently quickest, and set fastest lap of the race in the 14th hour.

Oliver commented afterwards, “I’m desperately disappointed for the whole SRT team who made such a fantastic effort this week. They are a very small, family-run operation but they did a really great job here running the Corvette C6.R which is an unbelievable car. Before the race I think a lot of people were looking at them and asking if they were sure they could run a front-running car but they’ve proven they can run at the front with the best. Their pit stops were excellent and they did an awful lot within the confines of their resources.

Despite the result , I really enjoyed the race and had a lot of fun. Spa’s a fast track so you really had to work at getting past people, and had to think hard about where you were going to do it. I kept finding spots and places to pass, then would think “oh, that worked well, I’ll try that again”. Strategy came into it all the way, the different weather conditions, fuel loads, whether you had new tyres on or not and so on. It’s good to have to think that hard and then see the right results!

Up until the 22nd hour there were three of us all racing against each other for the lead and it was really close. I was in the car for a double stint as Saturday turned into Sunday and up against Pedro Lamy in the #2 Maserati for quite a while and then we raced again in the morning. We’d have newer, fresher tyres and would catch up with him and pass, then he’d pit and we’d be dicing again for the lead; it was great battling, very close and fair.

If SRT couldn’t win, then I’m pleased that the all-Belgian Peka Racing Corvette won. Well done to them. It’s a great way to sign off the GT1 Corvette into the endurance racing history books.”

26th July 2009

For further media information contact Fiona Miller on +44 7770 371332 or email to f.miller@btinternet.com

www.olivergavin.com

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2009 London Marathon

I’m taking part in the Flora London Marathon 2009 on 26/04/2009 to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK and we’d really appreciate your support.

I will be running with a group of guys from the village I live in, called Yardley Hastings.  It’s a mixed bunch, some fast, some slower, others just aiming to get round but we’re all running for a good cause. Read more →

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Gavin and Beretta take final ALMS GT1 victory in Long Beach

Corvette racing duo brings down the curtain on GT1 era with record-setting win

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 18, 2009 – Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta left their stamp on the American Le Mans Series record book with a victory in Corvette Racing’s final GT1 race in the series. The three-time Corvette GT1 champions had a trouble-free run in the 100-minute Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach in their No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Beretta extended his record for ALMS victories with his 41st career win, while Gavin notched his 32nd ALMS victory. With a total of 73 wins, the pair is the most successful driving duo in ALMS history. Read more →

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Oliver Gavin Wins The Race Of The Racers

Corvette Racing’s British sportscar champion, Oliver Gavin, set an endurance record of a different kind in today’s Flora London Marathon. Running for Bowel Cancer UK, Olly finished the race in just 3 hrs and 10 seconds, a new personal best time, and was placed a remarkable 952nd overall. Read more →

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