Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen qualified their Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars third and fourth respectively for the August 6th Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the sixth round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series. Gavin will start the No. 3 Corvette third on the GT grid after lapping the 2.25-mile circuit in 1:20.019 seconds. Magnussen was fourth quickest in the No. 4 Corvette with a 1:20.189 time. Toni Vilander won the GT pole in the No 61 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT with the fastest lap in the 20-minute session at 1:19.682, and the sister No. 62 Ferrari was second quickest.
Both Corvette drivers credited two days of testing at the Mid-Ohio track as a factor in their qualifying performances. This race also marks the first anniversary of Corvette Racing's debut in the GT2 (now GT) class, making Mid-Ohio the first circuit where the team has previous experience with the second-generation Corvette C6.R race cars.
Gavin turned his best time on his third flying lap, and held the pole until the Ferraris posted their times in the closing minutes.
"It really feels great to be back in the game, and to be in position to battle with the competition," said Gavin. "I think the testing we've done here earlier this week has paid off, and we've made some good progress. All of the engineers and mechanics have been working hard, and we've got a car that we can race with.
"Corvette Racing has stepped up a notch here, but so has Risi," Gavin noted. "I thought that my time might be good enough for the pole, but the Ferraris kind of suckered us and then landed a big right hook!
"I think this circuit does suit our Corvettes, but I would say that everyone has improved compared to last year," he said. "This is the most competitive GT class ever, and everyone is rising to the challenge. The development is continuous, whether it's coming from Corvette or our rivals, and every team is trying their hardest to get that little edge."
Magnussen's qualifying run was nearly undone by contact with an inattentive GTC Porsche driver, but the Dane was able to recover and run his best time on his seventh flying lap.
"We might have been closer to the front than where we ended up, but the traffic was really messing it up for everybody," Magnussen said. "I had contact in Turn 8 and the Michelin tire was pushed away from its rim, but it held pressure. That's how I did my fastest time, so it wasn't 100 percent optimum.
"We still have some hard work ahead of us, but we're going in the right direction," Magnussen added. "We had a better shot at qualifying on the front row here than we've had in a long time. I've very pleased with how everything is going and the direction the team has taken, but there is still a bit of road ahead of us."