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(SALINAS, Calif., May 10, 2013) – Oliver Gavin, driver of the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, qualified fourth (1:22.924 secs.) in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT Class at Laguna Seca. Antonio Garcia, qualified sixth (1:23.042) in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course.
“The car was pretty decent and it took a while for the tires to come in,” Gavin said about his qualifying lap at Laguna Seca today. “I thought we found a pretty good spot on the track but the Viper was a little bit in the way on the front. Unfortunately on the lap when it all started to come together, the Viper was right there when I came into the corkscrew which is a shame because I lost some time but I got by him and then the next lap I wasn’t so good getting into one and then into two and I never quite seemed to be able to string it together again. I don’t think we had enough to get on pole, but I think we had enough to get third.”
Gavin teamed with Milner to win the GT class in last year’s event at Laguna Seca, finishing 3.45 seconds ahead of the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, driven by Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen for a 1-2 finish. Gavin will again team with Tommy Milner this year. The two won the 2012 ALMS drivers’ championship, and opened the 2013 season with a victory at Sebring last month.
“Where we are right now with the car with the weight we have got on and everything else, I think we are pretty much maxed-out,” Gavin continued. “So I am relatively happy with the start position because it’s a four hour race and plenty can happen. Last year we proved that we could win races from third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and we didn’t have to be on pole. Very rarely does the pole sitter win anyway. So we just have to hit it right tomorrow and tires are going to be important and getting your pressures right with the track temperatures is going to be vitally important. It’s going to be important because it’s an hour and fifteen minutes longer than the standard race. Strategy is going to play a big part tomorrow.”
Garcia, who qualified the No. Corvette C6.R in sixth position also was not concerned with his starting position for tomorrow’s race.
“I could say that traffic was an issue, but it’s just three tenths and that was the difference in being on the pole or not,” Garcia said. “I am happy with how the car is behaving and if we had a cleaner run and more open track, then we could have been faster for sure. But I am not too concerned, especially in this race because it’s completely opposite to Long Beach where it was a complete sprint race. At Long Beach we had only one stop, and with a four-hour race here its going to be a minimum of three stops. Starting position is important, but I think the best thing is to have a really good car that can fight through the race and that is what I am happy with.”
Garcia will team with Jan Magnussen for tomorrow’s race.
The other top-ten qualifiers for Saturday’s race in ALMS GT competition were, No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia (1st), No. 05 Porche 911 GT3 RSR (2nd), No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (3rd), No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE (5th), No. 23 Ferrari F458 Italia (7th), No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE (8th), No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R (9th) and the No. 48 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (10th).
Corvette Racing has 78 ALMS class victories, including four in 2012, making it the most successful team in American Le Mans Series history.
The American Le Mans Monterey for theTequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca starts at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, May 11th.
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