Corvette go 1-2 at Daytona
Corvette go 1-2 at Daytona
Corvette Racing dominated the morning action at the Roar before the 24 test in the GTLM class today at Daytona International Speedway.
The Chevy-squad went 1-2 with Oliver Gavin setting the fastest time of the two hour, 15 minute session at 1:45.108.
Newly recruited third driver – Audi DTM ace Mike Rockenfeller – was second fastest a mere .018 of a second adrift to put both Corvettes at the top of the timesheet.
The new BMW M6 of Bill Auberlen was third fastest ahead of Joey Hand’s Ford GT. Unfortunately for the Ford squad, Hand’s teammate Dirk Mueller went off at turn five, damaging the nose of the No.66 entry.
For Gavin and teammates Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler, the result today represented a great fightback from Friday when the No.4 Corvette caught fire with Milner at the wheel.
“The best part about this whole weekend so far is how the guys have done such a great job after the fire issue we had on Friday,” Milner said.
“We got it fixed and the car was basically perfect once we got back on track on Saturday.
“1-2 in this test is not a bad thing, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot because we are going through our laundry list of items of things to try. The fact that we are fast is a good thing – it’s better to be fast rather than being not quick and scratching our heads.
“We felt like we should have been quick coming here because these cars were a known quantity to us. On the outside they are a bit different with the new aero but underneath they are pretty similar.
“This is now year three for the C7.R and we’re fine tuning these things now rathan than finding big things any more.”
The fire was traced by the Corvette Racing crew back to a small amount of fuel that escaped past a check valve, touched a hot surface and ignited. The fire was contained to the right rear compartment of the Corvette and fortunately did not enter the cockpit.
The No.3 Corvette has enjoyed a trouble free test this weekend at Daytona for Rockenfeller and team regulars, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen.
“I think we’re getting through a lot of items on our list that we wanted to try here. The track is probably pretty representative of what the race will be like with the amount of rubber – there have been lots of cars on the track,” Magnussen said.
“I think we are moving in the right direction. We’re going through our program – we’re trying to be fast all the time, but sometimes we just need to concentrate on the set-up and try to learn more about the car and disregard the time. We’re very happy with the way things are going.
“We have more aero this year and more grip. The power is the same and these cars are never easy to drive, but they now just feel a little nicer with the added downfoce.”
Other class leaders this morning in the penultimate test session of the weekend included Ozz Negri for Michael Shank Racing in Prototype, Colin Braun for CORE autosport in PC and Leh Keen for Alex Job Racing in GTD.
Cars will be back on track for their final session at 2:40pm this afternoon.