Olly yesterday obliterated the previous qualifying lap record at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport, but was edged out of pole position for the GT grid by his Corvette Racing team mate Jan Magnussen. The two yellow and black Corvette C6.Rs therefore locked out the front row for the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, the fifth round of the ALMS.
Having shown good competitive speed and performance in the final practice session before qualifying, Olly approached the 15-minutes of intense action with some confidence but a gamble on set up didn’t ultimately pay off in terms of pole-setting, outright pace. Olly’s best time of 1:15.782 was three tenths of a second behind Magnussen’s new qualifying lap record, and the result marked Corvette’s first pole since August 2010.
The Northamptonshire-based driver enjoyed a 0.229-second advantage over the third placed qualifier, the No. 55 BMW. “It was a great qualifying session for Corvette Racing and a fantastic lap by Jan – he absolutely nailed it,” he said. “The entire team has been working very hard, and it’s great that we got a one-two in qualifying.
“I think a call I made with the set up toward the end of practice bit me in qualifying,” he revealed. “I’m a little disappointed in myself for making that call. The Corvette C6.R really is spectacular here; the way it drives and feels, it’s a joy to drive. The team has done an excellent job over the last few races, and I hope it continues tomorrow.”
After three runner-up finishes in the last four ALMS races, Jan and his co-driver Antonio Garcia are Olly and Tommy Milner’s nearest rivals in the points standings and the rivalry between the two cars is likely to be fierce but fair. All four Corvette drivers know that a strong finish is vital to stay ahead of the remainder of the GT field and the competition is so intense there is no room for mistakes. Nipping at their heels are BMW, Ferrari and Porsche in quick succession. Another great GT battle is expected!
The two-hour, 45-minute Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport will start at 12 noon ET on Sunday, 22nd July and will be broadcast the same day on ESPN2 at 1 pm ET. Live coverage is available starting at 11:45 am ET on ESPN3 and will be streamed live for international viewers on www.alms.com.
With thanks to Rick Voegelin at Corvette Racing.