The GT battle once again went down to the wire in today’s sixth round of the American Le Mans Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Olly and Tommy came out on top of a nail-biting battle with the Flying Lizard Porsche to take their third win of the season and regain the GT championship points lead.
Boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics, plus a strong desire to put the disappointment of the previous ALMS round behind him, Olly took the chequered flag just 0.283 seconds ahead of Jörg Bergmeister in the Porsche to record his 37th ALMS class win.
Starting from 6th place on the GT grid, Tommy made a storming start and was up to third by the second lap. Lightning pit work by the crew of the No.4 Corvette C6.R at the first round of pit stops got him back out in second place and thereafter there was a four car, nose-to-tail battle between the Porsche, two Corvettes and BMW which thrilled and entertained the many Pratt & Miller employees and GM supporters who were at Mid-Ohio.
Olly started his stint with just over an hour of the 2h45 minute race to run, and made the winning pass with 55 minutes to go but had to contend with Bergmeister staying on the Corvette’s rear bumper for the final 20 minutes. The elated driver said afterwards: “It all came down to the pit stops and the guys doing a spectacular job. It also came down to the fact that we seemed to be able to switch on our tyres quicker than some others. I knew that the first two laps after the pit stop were crucial to get heat into the tyres and the instruction from the team was “Nail it!”
“It was an excellent pass on the No.45 and I remembered I did the same move on him last year. It all worked out well and I managed to stick to my guns and keep Jörg at bay to the finish. It was very close but I’ve raced him enough in the past to know he wasn’t going to punt me off and he was very gracious about the result.
“It was a fantastic race today and really good fun. After a couple of rough races, especially at Mosport, it was great to bounce back and get another win and the championship lead back. It was even better to do it all in front of the GM top brass and loads of Pratt & Miller friends and colleagues. All in all, a Great day for Britain I’d say!”