Olly is well-placed for high points-scoring success in tomorrow’s seventh round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America in Wisconsin after a fast and furious qualifying session today.
His time of 2:04.871, set in the No.4 Corvette C6.R during a 15-minute session, broke the existing GT qualifying lap record by nearly six tenths of a second.
However, despite heading the first seven minutes, the Briton had to settle for third place on the intensely competitive GT grid for tomorrow’s four-hour race, and will line up behind the two Flying Lizard Porsches. The top seven GT cars all posted times faster than last year’s qualifying record and were separated by just 0.683 of a second.
After two very productive practice sessions, during which both Olly and Tommy had been consistently quick, they worked on long distance runs and set up evaluations. After topping the final practice before qualifying, Olly was confident of the Corvette’s pace and performance. He completed just three flying laps and set his fast time on the second of those, keeping something in reserve on the tyres with which he’ll start tomorrow’s race.
“It was a bit frustrating not to be on pole, of course,” said Olly after qualifying, “but we’ve been really encouraged by our pace in all the sessions so far. After practice we wondered if the Porsches might have something left in the bag, as we know you can never discount them, and they certainly pulled it out this afternoon! We’d made a couple of set up changes to try and get a bit more front end grip just before qualifying, but it ended up giving us a bit too much oversteer into some of the faster corners. I think we’ll be really good on the longer runs in the race tomorrow and, in a four-hour race, all sorts of things can happen.”