Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Sixth in Mid-Ohio Monsoon
Gavin and Magnussen Come Through the Chaos for Podium Finish and Championship Points
Aug. 7, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ohio, - The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge ended under a red flag when a downpour inundated the circuit with 11 minutes remaining in the two-hour, 45-minute race. Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin scored Corvette's third straight runner-up finish at Mid-Ohio after leading the GT category for the first two hours in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Tommy Milner and Olivier Beretta finished sixth after a spin in the treacherous conditions temporarily stranded the No. 3 Compuware Corvette before the race was stopped. Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers claimed the victory in the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 after advancing from sixth to first on the rain-soaked track in the final minutes.
"In the last two races, we've had a good race car and not such a good qualifying car - but I'll take a good race car any time," said team manager Gary Pratt. "In conditions like this, we're happy with second."
Magnussen made a fast start, moving from fifth on the grid to second in the first lap. He passed the class-leading BMW on the next lap and then held the lead through the remainder of his stint.
"I was on the outside for the first turn and had a good line," Magnussen said. "Everyone in front of me pulled in to protect their line, so I went to the outside and came out in second. I could see the BMW's tires weren't completely up to temperature and our Michelins were. In one of the practice sessions, I came out with a BMW and outbraked him at the end of the straight, so I knew he was going to be vulnerable there. Sure enough, he braked early and I made the pass."
Gavin took over the No. 4 Corvette shortly before the one-hour mark and held the point until he pitted for rain tires at 2:03. He was within striking distance of the leading No. 45 Porsche of Patrick Long when the deluge began.
"Those last four or five laps were absolutely insane," Gavin said. "I was driving down the straight with the steering wheel at full opposite lock, with the car just gliding and aquaplaning. Somehow my car straightened up and Pat Long's car went off into a gravel trap. When Wolf Henzler drove by me, I had no answer for him; he certainly had a good rain setup. I was relieved when they brought out the red flag because it was really tough.
"Before the rain came, it was great to be in the lead," the Englishman added. "The guys got me out in front after an excellent pit stop. I was slowly pulling away from Patrick, then a caution came out and we were driving around picking up loads of rubbish on the tires. Patrick was pressuring me, but eventually I got the tires clean and started to pull out a lead. Then the weather arrived, and everything changed."
Gavin and Magnussen's runner-up finish on the heels of a win in Mosport, combined with a fourth-place finish today for points leaders Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, narrowed the GT championship race. Gavin and Magnussen are now 17 points behind the BMW duo in unofficial points, and Chevrolet cut BMW's lead in the manufacturer standings to 19 points.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge GT Results (Top 10):
1. 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 92
2. 4 Gavin/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 92
3. 55 Auberlen/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 92
4. 56 Mueller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 92
5. 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari F458 Italia, 92
6. 3 Beretta/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 92
7. 04 Murry/Lazzaro, Doran Ford GT, 91
8. 48 Miller/Maasen, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 91
9. 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 91
10. 44 Neiman/Law, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 91
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