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ALMS: Utah 'Grand Prix' 2010


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The ALMS resumes battle at Miller Motorsports Park in cosmopolitan Tooele, Utah on July 11th, so the blurbage is beginning to ooze... :banannasword:

First, check out Corvette Racing's Command Center, "possibly the greatest weapon on race weekends" - their words, not mine.

And Newsflash, there'll be another prancing horse car driven by a an ex-F1 hotshoe for Corvette Racing to contend with:

Fisichella/Vilander to join Risi Competizione at Salt Lake City

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Risi Competizione is pleased to announce the entry of a second Ferrari F430 GTC for the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series in Utah on July 11.

Racing alongside ALMS regulars and GT champions, Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni, will be Ferrari F1 reserve driver and Le Mans Series competitor, Giancarlo Fisichella, and two-time FIA GT Championship GT2 class champion, Toni Vilander.

While Finn Vilander, 29, has competed in the ALMS before – two races in 2006 with Risi Competizione – it will be the 37-year-old Italian driver’s debut in the super-competitive GT sports car series. Fisichella has 231 Grands Prix to his name for a number of teams, including of course Ferrari. Both he and Vilander are currently driving alongside Jean Alesi, and Risi’s own Bruni and Melo, for Ferrari team AF Corse in the Le Mans Series.

Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, said of the entry: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming Giancarlo to Risi Competizione and to the American style of racing. Since Toni was with us last, the level of competition and standard of entries in the GT class has risen sharply, but I’m sure that two such professional drivers won’t take long to adjust to their new surroundings.

“At the present time, it is intended that the drivers will be with us for just this one race.”

Risi Competizione is a Houston-based Ferrari racing team lead by Managing Director Giuseppe Risi. Official team sponsors include Krohn Racing, Ferrari of Houston, Boardwalk Auto Group, Pennzoil Ultra, Motorola, AdShip and QT Technologies.

The next race for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The two-hour, 45-minute race is set for 2:05 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 11 from Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. SPEED will air the race same-day at 4 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche – a production of Radio Show Limited – as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242.

:banannasword: I predict a Giancarlo-DNF....

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ALMS : Corvette Racing quest for championship glory begins in Salt Lake City

Source - Chevy Racing Communications

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Thursday, 08 July 2010 03:00

The run for the American Le Mans Series championships begins now when the crew and drivers prepare for heat and high altitude at Miller Motorsports Park.

The series' upcoming stint of five races in eight weeks will likely determine the champions in the production based GT category.

After a seven week break in the ALMS schedule to accommodate the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the battle for the GT titles will be rejoined in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 11.

With three of nine rounds completed, Corvette Racing drivers Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell are fifth in the drivers championship, 25 points behind the leaders (65-40), while Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta are sixth.

Chevrolet is fourth in the manufacturer standings with an 18 point deficit to the frontrunner (65-47).

"With the 24 Hours of Le Mans now behind us, Corvette Racing is focused on the second half of our mission, which is our quest for an ALMS championship," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan.

"The entire team was heartened by the speed, handling and braking that the Compuware Corvettes demonstrated in Le Mans, and we are optimistic that will translate into improved performance throughout the rest of the ALMS season. To capture a championship, we have to focus on winning."

"Running five races in eight weeks is exactly the type of challenge that Corvette Racing relishes," Fehan said. "It heightens the team's intensity, drive, and passion. I'm confident that our race cars, parts, and people are fully prepared for the upcoming series of events. We know that we've done it before and we can do it again."

Sunday's race will be the debut of the GT2 Corvette C6.Rs at Miller Motorsports Park. The team competed in the GT1 category at MMP in 2006-2008, and did not participate in last year's Utah Grand Prix due to an abbreviated schedule.

The track's 4,400 foot elevation and the predicted 90 degree temperature on race day will make demands on the drivers, crew, and equipment.

"The high altitude affects engine horsepower, aerodynamic performance, and cooling," said Corvette Racing team manager Gary Pratt.

"The thin air reduces the overall downforce that the aerodynamic package can produce, although the aero balance is similar to sea level. The altitude will affect all of the naturally aspirated engines equally, and we're prepared to increase airflow through the radiator to compensate for the reduced cooling."

"With the heat and the altitude, this could be the most physical sprint race of the year. Hot weather will put a lot of emphasis on tires. It's been two years since I raced at Miller Motorsports Park with the GT1 Corvette. It's a great track, and it should suit the Corvettes in GT2 specification. I have great expectations," said driver Jan Magnussen.

Like a modern day Viking, Magnussen has travelled far and wide in search of victories.

In the last month, the Danish driver has raced a Chevrolet Lacetti in a Scandinavian Touring Car Championship race in Gothenburg, Sweden, a Corvette C6.R in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Phoenix Racing's Impala SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Sonoma, California, and Stevenson Motorsports' Camaro GT.R in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series event in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Magnussen finished 12th in his NASCAR debut at Infineon Raceway on June 20.

"The first couple of hours of the race were hard but super fair, and everybody would allow you to race side by side and even three wide. But the last half hour was just wild, every man for himself. I tried to keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble. I think 12th was a good result," he reported.

Next Sunday, Magnussen and the entire Corvette Racing team will be aiming for first place!

:banannasword:

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2010 ALMS Utah: Extreme Speed Ferraris Latest To Move To E85r

The alternative energy revolution continues in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Extreme Speed Motorsports became the latest team to switch to cellulosic E85R for the 2010 season; both its Ferrari F430 GTs will compete for the first time on the energy source at this weekend’s Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix.

Risi Competizione’s two Ferraris also will compete for the first time on the biofuel this weekend.

"It’s mostly a development by Ferrari to improve the performance of the cars," said Derek Granison, ESM’s team manager. "And everyone in the paddock wants to go green as well. "We’re still looking over the data from the test earlier this week and compiling information. Generally, it has shown to be improvement that needed to be made."

Ten of the 13 cars in the GT class will be powered by cellulosic E85 - Corvette Racing, BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team and Flying Lizard Motorsports (all two-car efforts) are the others; Drayson Racing, Autocon Motorsports and Intersport Racing are all on the biofuel from the prototype ranks. In addition, Dyson Racing’s Mazda-powered Lola coupe uses isobutanol.

Qualifying, covered live on SPEED.com, is on tap for Saturday at 4:50 p.m. ET, followed by the Utah Grand Prix, live on SPEED, at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. :cfdeadagain

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Pagenaud Scores Pole In Utah

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After a rough start in the morning, the Patron Highcroft Racing team bounced back during a hot afternoon at the Miller Motorsports Park to take the pole for Sunday’s two hour, 45-minute American Le Mans Series race.

Simon Pagenaud sat out most of the session before turning a lap of 1:34.350 on the 3.048-mile outer circuit in his HPD ARX-01c chassis. That was considerably slower than his pole last year (1:30.645) set during the cooler weather of May in the LMP1-class Acura ARX-01b.

“This morning was difficult for us,” said the Frenchman of the team’s effort to adapt the new aerodynamic package first used at the Le Mans 24-hour in June to the circuit outside Utah’s Salt Lake City. “We kept making changes to improve the car,” he said. “But when you run less downforce the car becomes a lot more sensitive to what you do with it. The car was very unstable this morning in the corners.”

The team stuck with most of the adaptions first used at Le Mans in the rear, but made changes to the front to account for the Miller circuit’s wide variety of corners as well as long straight.

In qualifying for Round 4 of the ALMS, Pagenaud’s lap eclipsed the Judd-powered Lola B09/60 of Johnny Cocker, who will be joined at Drayson Racing this weekend by Emanuele Pirro due to the injured foot of team owner Lord Paul Drayson. Former Audi pilot Pirro was the winner of the first ALMS event at Miller in 2006. Cocker trailed by 0.336 seconds, but the young British driver gave the Drayson team its first front-row start of the season.

In Castrol colors for the first time this season, the Dyson Racing team had hoped to contend for the pole due to the high elevation of the Utah track and the team’s single turbo, four-cylinder engine that is badged as a Mazda and built by AER. The turbo boost generally compensates better for the thinner air at higher altitudes, but Chris Dyson could manage only third on the grid, nearly half a second adrift from the pole.

Klaus Graf was fourth in LMP aboard the Porsche RS Spyder of Team Cytosport and Jon Field was fifth in his Lola B06/10 powered by AER.

In GT, Ferrari 430 GTC entries swept the top three positions :cfdeadagain in the first race where the Italian marque has switched to E85 fuel for its V-8. Gianmaria “Gimmi” Brunni of Risi Competizione was quickest in his first visit to the Salt Lake circuit in the team’s No. 62 entry. The Italian was 0.062 seconds faster than the Ferrari of Extreme Speed Motorsports, which posted its best qualifying session of the season in the hands of Johannes van Overbeek.

Driving the No. 61 Risi entry, Toni Vilander was third in GT, edging defending pole winner Jorg Bergmeister’s Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR by 0.012 seconds. Over-all, the top eight cars in GT were separated by just 0.6 seconds, including the two Rahal Letterman Racing factory BMW M3 entries and the ZR1’s of Corvette Racing. The RLR team tested its Dunlop tires at Road Atlanta to come up with new hot weather compounds and may come on stronger in the race where all teams must start on their qualifying rubber.

The new Jaguar XKRS entered by Paul Gentilozzi continued to be a disappointment, qualifying 4.5 seconds behind the pole winners. :facepalm:

Gunnar Jeannette won the pole for the LMP Challenge class aboard the spec Oreca FLM09, beating Christophe Bouchut by 0.254 seconds.

In the GT Challenge class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, Jeroen Bleekemolen took the top qualifying position among the nine entries.

Over-all, 28 cars participated in qualifying, including six LMP entries, five LMP C prototypes and ten in the GT class. Missing was the Team Falken Tire Porsche, which suffered a fire at the rear of its GT3 RSR in the morning sesson . The team expected to make repairs in time for the race.

:3gears: Starting from P7 and P8, Fehan better be able to back up his smack.

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Corvette Put Faith in Endurance For Utah Grand Prix

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Corvette Racing remained positive despite their two GT-class cars qualifying seventh and eighth fastest on a weekend where the team have struggled in the competitive series.

However, despite the car’s relatively lowly start the lead Corvette – that of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta – less than four tenths behind the Risi Competizione Ferrari that paced the class.

“We have a very good car and a very good package, and we are running in a very competitive series,” said Beretta who lapped the 3mile track in 1:48.022. “This is the first time we have run in Salt Lake City with this high temperature. We are only three tenths from the pole, and I know we can improve. I’m quite happy – we just need to make some more changes on the car and we will be OK in the race.”

The two Corvettes were among the cars that ran the most lap in the heat for the qualifying session, and though Johnny O’Connell, qualifying the sister no.3 car set his fastest lap on his second lap Beretta’s fastest lap was his sixth time around the track in the 20-minute session – while many other teams stopped after as few as three or four circuits. Naturally, with that longevity in mind Corvette are hopeful the heat and high altitudes could play into their hands.

“That was not a qualifying run that I thought would end up eighth on the grid,” said O’Connell, whose lap was a further two-tenths behind his teammate. “We don’t know what tires the other guys were using, but we are on a Michelin tire that we know will be good for an hour in very hot conditions. We did four or five laps within a tenth of a second at the end of our qualifying run. Perhaps the competition will start coming back to us at the end of a stint. We’ve got great handling cars, but for some reason the speed’s not quite there.”

:cfdeadagain

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Spoilage alert-o-rama, results posted....

ALMS: Highcroft Wins Utah

Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham score third straight victory. Risi Competizione (GT), Level 5 Motorsports (LMPC) and Black Swan Racing (GTC) class winners.

Patrón Highcroft Racing scored its third consecutive victory in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Sunday with a hard-fought victory in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. Simon Pagenaud drove the final 1:45 in the team’s HPD ARX-01c, and the Patrón Highcroft crew took advantage of a quick final pit stop to beat Drayson Racing’s Emanuele Pirro to the line by 19.116 seconds at Miller Motorsports Park.

Pagenaud and David Brabham haven’t lost since the Long Beach round in April and increased their championship lead in LMP to 11 points over Muscle Milk Team CytoSport’s Klaus Graf. He and Greg Pickett placed third, 90 seconds behind the winning car.

The Level 5 Motorsports duo of Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker won for the third time in LMP Challenge. Bouchut crossed the finish line in the first of Level 5’s two ORECA FLM09s a lap ahead of Gunnar Jeannette in Green Earth Team Gunnar’s entry. Bouchut and Tucker lead Jeannette, who drove with Christian Zugel, by 11 points in the class championship.

Risi Competizione won its first race of the season in GT with a victory for Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni. The first of Risi’s red Ferrari F430 GT was 21 seconds clear of BMW Rahal Letterman Racing’s second-place BMW M3 GTR of Bill Auberlen and Tommy Milner. Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell placed third.

The victory moved Melo and Bruni into the class championship lead by two points over Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. They were fifth in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Jeroen Bleekemolen and Tim Pappas won their second straight GT Challenge race for Black Swan Racing. Bleekemolen finished 52.955 seconds ahead of Alex Job Racing’s Butch Leitzinger and Juan Gonzalez, who retained their class championship lead.

TRG’s Andy Lally and Henri Richard placed third in class.

Check back for more details...

Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix

Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah

Sunday's results

1. (1) David Brabham, Maidenhead, UK; Simon Pagenaud, Montmorrillon, FR; HPD ARX-01c (1, LMP), 91.

2. (2) Jonny Cocker, Guisborough, GB; Emanuele Pirro, Monte Carlo, MC; Lola B09 60/Judd (2, LMP), 91.

3. (4) Greg Pickett, Crystal Bay, NV; Klaus Graf, Dornham; Porsche RS Spyder (3, LMP), 91.

4. (5) Jon Field, Dublin, OH; Clint Field, Dublin, OH; Lola B06/10 AER (4, LMP), 88.

5. (8) Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Christophe Bouchut, France; Oreca FLM09 (1, LMPC), 86.

6. (7) Christian Zugel, Holmdel, NJ; Gunnar Jeannette, Salt Lake City, UT; Oreca FLM09 (2, LMPC), 85.

7. (9) Max Hyatt, San Jose, CA; Alex Figge, Denver, CO; Oreca FLM09 (3, LMPC), 85.

8. (11) Andy Wallace, England; Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Oreca FLM09 (4, LMPC), 85.

9. (12) Gianmaria Bruni, Rome; Jaime Melo, Milan; Ferrari 430 GT (5, GT), 85.

10. (15) Tommy Milner, Leesburg, VA; Bill Auberlen, Redondo Beach, CA; BMW E92 M3 (6, GT), 85.

11. (18) Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, GA; Jan Magnussen, Roskilde, CK; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (7, GT), 84.

12. (16) Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA; Dirk Mueller, Monte Carlo; BMW E92 M3 (8, GT), 84.

13. (14) Joerg Bergmeister, Langenfield; Patrick Long, Bellaire, FL; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (9, GT), 84.

14. (34) Toni Vilander, FInland; Giancarlo Fisichella, Rome; Ferrari 430 GT (10, GT), 84.

15. (13) Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL; Ferrari 430 GT (11, GT), 83.

16. (19) Ed Brown, Las Vegas, NV; Guy Cosmo, West Palm Beach, FL; Ferrari 430 GT (12, GT), 83.

17. (33) Bryan Sellers, Braselton, GA; Wolf Henzler, Nuertingen; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (13, GT), 83.

18. (6) Tony Burgess, Toronto; Bryan Willman, Kirkland, WA; Lola B06 10/AER (14, LMP), 82.

19. (17) Olivier Beretta, Monte Carlo, MC; Oliver Gavin, Yardley Hastings, GB; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (15, GT), 82.

20. (22) Darren Law, Phoenix, AZ; Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (16, GT), 81.

21. (23) Tim Pappas, Boston, MA; Jeroen Bleekemolen, Monte Carlo; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (1, GTC), 80.

22. (31) Juan Gonzalez; Butch Leitzinger, Rebersburg, PA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (2, GTC), 80.

23. (27) Henri Richard, Los Altos Hills, CA; Andy Lally, New York, NY; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (3, GTC), 80.

24. (29) Galen Bieker, Burbank, CA; Robert Rodriguez, Zephyr Cove, NY; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (4, GTC), 79.

25. (26) Jerry Vento, West Palm Beach, FL; Shane Lewis, Jupiter, FL; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (5, GTC), 79.

26. (24) Luke Hines, Essex; Bryce Miller, Summit, NJ; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (6, GTC), 78.

27. (32) Doug Baron, Pacific Palisades, CA; Loren Beggs, Montclair, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (7, GTC), 78.

28. (20) David Murry, Atlanta, GA; Andrea Robertson, Ray, MI; David Robertson, Ray, MI; Doran Design Ford GT (8, GT), 78.

29. (28) Bret Curtis, Valencia, CA; James Sofronas, Newport Beach, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (9, GTC), 78.

30. (30) Bill Sweedler, Westport, CT; Romeo Kapudija, Lincolnwood, IL; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (10, GTC), 77.

31. (3) Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Guy Smith, Bracken, Yorkshire; Lola B09 86/Mazda (11, LMP), 73.

32. (21) Ryan Dalziel, Orlando, FL; Marc Goossens, Huntersville, NC; Jaguar XKRS (12, GT), 57.

33. (10) Brian Wong, Newport Beach, CA; Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, Ontario CA; Oreca FLM09 (17, LMPC), 21.

34. (25) Ricardo Gonzalez, Mexico; Luis Diaz, Mexico City; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (13, GTC), 5.

What this doesn't tell you is that the #4 Corvette had an unplugged fuel pump that killed it on lap one, they rejoined the race one lap down. Mags was running third, but a pit crewman just dropped the air-jack hose instead of tossing it over the pit wall and Jan ran it over upon leaving. So he dropped to fifth after a stop-n-go penalty, then charged back to third within the last 20 minutes.

Official Team Chevy blurbage to follow...

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What happened to the flawless pit crew that they had ???? Just Damn!

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Good question.

Utah: Corvette Racing race report

Racing series ALMS

Date 2010-07-11

Corvette Racing Takes Third in Eventful Utah Grand Prix

Magnussen and O'Connell Battle Back to Podium Finish After Pit Lane Penalty

SALT LAKE CITY, July 11, 2010 -- Sometimes the box score doesn't tell the whole story of a race. Corvette Racing's third-place finish in the American Le Mans Series Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix was the result of a determined effort in the heat of the Utah high desert. Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen overcame intense competition on the track and a penalty in the pit lane to take their No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R to a hard-earned podium finish at Miller Motorsports Park.

The No. 3 Corvette C6.R finished one lap behind the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT and the runner-up No. 92 Rahal Letterman BMW M3 GT. The No. 4 Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta encountered an electrical problem on the second lap, finishing 10th after losing three laps to the leaders during repairs.

"We're not winning, and that's what we're here for, but we will," said Magnussen. "When we can have good results on our bad days, then I'm sure it will be fantastic on our good days."

O'Connell started seventh in the GT class, lost a spot in the opening laps, and then methodically began to overtake his rivals. He was fifth at 30 minutes into the 2-hour, 45-minute race, and third at the 50-minute mark. Magnussen then took over just as the first hour was completed, and set off in pursuit of the leaders.

"The idea is to push hard and stay out of trouble," said O'Connell. "At the start a GT car went inside of me, but we got that position back and then started picking guys off. The car was good under braking, and as the fuel load went down we were getting quicker. When (crew chief) Dan Binks is telling me that guys are coming back to me, that's like blood in the water for a shark."

As the air temperature climbed to 90 degrees and the track sizzled at 112 degrees, Magnussen put the heat on the second-place BMW of Bill Auberlen. The Dane pitted for fuel and tires with 36 minutes to go, but a brush with the air jack hose incurred a stop-and-go penalty. Magnussen emerged in fifth, and moved up to fourth when the No. 45 Porsche pitted. With nine minutes left on the clock, he passed the No. 92 BMW of Dirk Mueller for third coming out of Turn 6.

"It was a good, fair fight with both BMWs," Magnussen said. "I managed to get by for third after he made a small mistake. I faked a move going in and he reacted to it. It was unfortunate that we had that penalty in the pits. It was one of those small things -- sometimes the luck goes your way and sometimes the luck goes against you. I think our year has been the latter so far."

Crew chief Binks explained: "When I unplugged the air jack wand, it bounced against the wall and went under the tire. At the time you get upset, but the officials made the right call. We got a penalty, and Jan raced his heart out to third."

The No. 4 Corvette's race unraveled on the second lap when it slowed in Turn 5 with no fuel pressure. Beretta's attempts to restart the car were futile, and it was towed into the pit lane. The Corvette crew quickly repaired an electrical connection and Beretta rejoined the fray.

"I made a good start, and suddenly the engine cut out," Beretta said. "I knew I could not restart the car by myself on the track. These are the kind of things you want to forget and think about the next race. We have had so much bad luck, I hope it will end soon."

The No. 4 Corvette pitted at 1:06 for fuel, tires, and a driver change as Oliver Gavin replaced Beretta. Gavin then ran to the finish on one set of Michelin tires, turning laps as fast as the leaders, but the deficit was too great to make up.

"The team showed great character today," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "You can't work any harder for a third-place finish than we did today. Hats off to Johnny, Jan and the crew for never giving up -- their effort paid off with a podium finish, and that's important in the points race."

Corvette Racing's next event is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

-source: gm racing

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Oh well, at least it's Lime Rock next, that's always a fun track to watch!

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