In qualifying for tomorrow’s four-hour Road Race Showcase at Road America, it was Jan Magnussen’s turn to qualify the No. 4 Corvette C6.R and, despite being more than a second quicker than Olly’s pole-winning lap at Road America in 2010, and six tenths of a second under the GT qualifying record set in 2008, he just missed out on pole position.
The Dane was achingly close to GT pole, but missed out for the second consecutive year by .005 of a second. That was the razor-thin margin that favoured Dirk Mueller’s No. 56 BMW M3 GT in qualifying.
Jan held back as the 15-minute qualifying session began, seeking a gap in traffic. With a clear track ahead, he rocketed around the 4-mile circuit in 2:05.452 on his fourth lap, eclipsing his English teammate’s pole-winning 2:06.509 time from last year. Mueller took the pole with a 2:05.447 lap.
“Five thousandths!” Jan exclaimed after qualifying. “When the session started, I made a quick decision to fall back to give myself a big gap. I was clear of traffic, set my fast time, and then did a cool-down lap to get ready for my final qualifying run. That lap was looking really good until we caught traffic. Even with a similar lap, five thousandths could have gone either way.”
Olly added: “We are very happy with a front row starting place. The cars have run well all weekend and it felt nice when I drove it this morning. I did all of the morning as Jan hasn’t been very well this weekend – though he’s a lot better now! When we saw the BMW’s lap time we were a little bit shocked but Jan worked away at it and got a really good lap together.
“Our long-run pace is pretty decent; it’s been pretty good for most of the test and practice sessions and so we’re looking forward to the race tomorrow. Four hours means a little different strategy but we feel we’re in strong shape to fight with anyone at the front, like we’ve done for the last two races. I’m hoping for a similar performance to Mosport and Mid Ohio but hope we don’t get the same amount of race we did at Mid Ohio!!”