Corvettes Qualify Third and Fifth in Long Beach ALMS
Team Pleased with Performance in First Street Race for GT Corvette C6.R
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Corvette Racing's twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars qualified third and
fifth for Saturday's American Le Mans at Long Beach in the first street race for the GT-spec Corvettes.
Johnny O'Connell wheeled the No. 3 Corvette C6.R to a 1:20.308 lap (88.220 mph) around the 1.986-mile, 11-turn
temporary bayside circuit. Olivier Beretta was fifth quickest in the GT class at 1:20.438 (88.078 mph) in the
No. 4 Corvette C6.R.
Jaime Melo captured the GT pole with the quickest lap in the 20-minute session at 1:19.581 in Risi
Competizione's Ferrari 430 GT. Four different manufacturers - Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet, and BMW - are
represented in the top six qualifying spots.
"It's so hard to find that perfect lap around Long Beach," O'Connell said. "The car rolled
off the trailer so good, and that's a testament to the strength of Corvette Racing's engineering staff. I think
we might have tried a different tire compound for qualifying, but hindsight is always 20-20. The track had more
rubber on it than when we practiced this morning, but the track temperature was up as well."
O'Connell turned his quickest time on his fourth lap, while Beretta recorded his best time on his third
"I had a clear track for the first three laps, then caught some traffic," Beretta said. "That
doesn't help the tires to perform at their best because you'd like to keep the temperature up. Except for the
Ferrari, qualifying was very close, and I think it will be a very close race as well."
"It was a good performance for Corvette Racing because this is the first time we've run the GT
Corvettes on a street course," Beretta noted. "We didn't have a lot of time on the track at this
event, so we will have to see what happens in the race tomorrow."
The pole-winning Ferrari enjoyed a .598-second advantage over the second quickest car. The next seven cars
qualified within .408 seconds.
"We know the Ferrari is fast, and they showed that," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug
Fehan. "They had a significant advantage, but you can throw a blanket over the rest of the
"We've had some varying temperatures here, and we selected the tires that we thought would be good
before the start of qualifying," Fehan reported. "We use qualifying as a test session as well, and
that's valuable information for the race. This is the first time we've been on a street course with the new
engine package and the new GT chassis, and I think the combination has performed well. Corvette Racing will be
in the battle."
The American Le Mans Series at Long Beach will start at 4:40 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 17. The one-hour,
40-minute race will be televised same-day on SPEED at 8 – 10 p.m. ET.
American Le Mans Series at Long Beach GT Qualifying:
1. Melo/Bruni, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:19.581
2. Sellers/Henzler, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:20.179
3. O'Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:20.308
4. Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:20.424
5. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 1:20.438
6. Auberlen/Milner, BMW E92 M3, 1:20.486
7. Mueller/Hand, BMW E92 M3, 1:20.564
8. Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:20.587
9. Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 430 GT, 1:21.346
10. Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:21.457
11. Robertson/Murry, Ford GT, 1:21.960
12. Gentilozzi/Dalziel, Jaguar XKRS, 1:22.985
Release Date: April 16, 2010