2011 12 Hours of Sebring Race - Back In The Hunt

Corvette earns a hard-fought 3-4 finish at Sebring

Walt Thurn Aug 11, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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When the green flag fell at 10:30 a.m., Gavin was stuck to the rear bumper of the pole-winning Ferrari 430. At the end of the first lap, he had passed the Italian car and was putting a gap between himself and the rest of the GT field. As the tires heated up, the gap closed and the lead began changing hands with each lap. It was pretty obvious that the No. 04 Corvette was able to run with any of the GT competition. No. 03 stayed in the background in the early part of the race, with driver Olivier Beretta letting his teammate Gavin set the pace in the other Corvette Racing entry. Thirty-eight minutes into the first hour, the No. 50 Larbre Corvette pitted and was pushed behind the wall to fix a shifter problem. The car continued after losing several laps. The first Corvette Racing pit stops took place at 12:18 p.m., one hour and 48 minutes after the start. Magnussen replaced Gavin in No. 04, while Milner replaced Beretta in No. 03.

Vemp 1108 03 2011 12 Hours Of Sebring 2/9

Shortly after their pit stops, Magnussen had an incident as he entered Turn 17 beside Patrick Long in the Flying Lizard Porsche. Long hit a bump and slid into the right side of the Danish driver. Both cars spun, and the Corvette stopped in the middle of the corner. Unfortunately, Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 001 Ferrari 458 Italia was unable to avoid him and clipped the right rear of the Corvette. The Ferrari went into the air, came back down with heavy damage, and was out of the race. Magnussen limped into the pits to get the Corvette’s right rear suspension repaired and body damage taped up. Two laps were lost during this process. Making matters worse, the pits were closed during the repair and No. 04 lost another lap due to a pit-stop penalty. After two hours and 43 minutes, the No. 50 Larbre Corvette was withdrawn with a wounded engine after completing 37 laps.

It was now up to the No. 03 Corvette to capture the class win. At the 10-hour mark, the C6.R took the GT lead during a pit-stop exchange with the two leading BMWs. The GT lead kept switching among the three cars until the checkered flag fell. The No. 03 Corvette finished Third overall in GT, 49.294 seconds behind the winner and on the same lap. No. 04 was Fourth, one lap behind the winning BMW. Corvette Racing is off to a good start, and it looks like the team is a legitimate 2011 championship contender.




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