Corvette Shatters GTS Qualifying Record at Sebring
Oliver Gavin and Ron Fellows put Chevrolet on top for Saturday's race
SEBRING, Fla. – The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team posted record-setting
qualifying times on Thursday afternoon at Sebring International Raceway. Oliver Gavin, driving the #4
Compuware Corvette C5-R with Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen, shattered the previous GTS qualifying
record that he set in 2003; Gavin's time of 1:56.858 beat last year's record by over two seconds. Ron
Fellows, driving the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R with Johnny O'Connell and Max Papis, was close behind
with a lap of 1:57.052, besting the previous qualifying record by nearly two seconds. The two-car factory
Chevrolet team is attempting to capture a third straight class victory at the legendary 12-hour endurance
"This is a testament to all the hard work we've done over the winter," said Doug Fehan, GM's
program manager for Corvette Racing. "At Sebring, being the quickest gets you the pole position but
that's all it gets you. This is a 12-hour race and we never lose sight of that. I'm very happy with the
way qualifying went today and we're looking forward to a competitive race."
The two Corvettes started Thursday's 25-minute session by immediately posting the fastest times in the
GTS class. Ron Fellows and Oliver Gavin traded laps before Gavin turned in his fastest time at the very
end of the session.
"The crew did a great job and the fact that both cars are within three tenths of a second is a
sign that we have quite a strong team here," said Gavin. "I think it is going to be a very
tough race between our cars and the competition. This is a very tough track on cars, drivers and crews.
The pole is great but it is a very small part of winning the race on Saturday."
Fellows has two GTS victories at Sebring in the Corvette C5-R. His Thursday qualifying time was nearly
two seconds faster than the 2003 pole position. The Canadian credits an intense off-season testing
program and new technologies for the fast lap times.
"Our new Michelin tires are quite good although we find they come into the correct temperature
range a bit later than what we had last year," said Fellows. "When they do come into
temperature, they are great. As always traffic is a factor and our time was the best we could do today.
Johnny, Max and I are happy with the way the Corvette is balanced and with all the testing we have done
here we believe we have the right car for a 12-hour race."
The Corvette Racing team will begin the 12 Hours of Sebring at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.
|Provisional Grid (GTS Class)
||#4 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R
||#3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R
||#71 Dodge Viper GTS-R
||#26 Ferrari 575 GTC
||#25 Ferrari 575 GTC
||#63 Saleen S7R
|*Did not qualify