Corvette Racing Drivers - All The Answers

How Well Do You Really Know Corvette Racing's World-Champion Drivers?

Christopher R. Phillip Nov 4, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Vette: If you could pick any race, any place, and any time in history, where would it be, what race, and what would you drive?

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Magnussen: I would have loved to have been the third guy in the battle between Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux in the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon. That would have been fantastic.

Gavin: I think the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with the old circuit in the mid-'80s in a Williams Formula 1 car. Keke Rosberg had the fastest overall lap at the time, over 160-mph average speed. That would have been amazing.

Beretta: Le Mans, for sure. Fifteen years ago we could manage the endurance; now it is a sprint race. I would like to have driven the Peugeot with the Formula 1 engine, and without the chicanes.

O'Connell: First of all it would be in a Corvette with this team. History is going to remember this team as one of the most successful and significant teams in sports-car racing. I'd love to race this car at Le Mans before the chicanes in the Mulsanne Straight. That would be cool.

Vette: If you could pick a famous person out of history-a king or queen, president, celebrity, warrior, inventor, or other famous person-and personally teach him or her how to race a Corvette, who would it be and why?

Magnussen: Johnny O'Connell!

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Gavin: One of the original Apollo astronauts would be very cool. They were driving Corvette Sting Rays, and they seemed to be amazing people. It would have been huge fun to teach one of them how drive a race car.

Vette: What personal preparation routine do you go through one hour before a race?

Magnussen: I just try to collect my thoughts and focus on what I need to do in the race.

Gavin: I make sure I've got enough fluids, try and relax, think about what we're going to do in the race, talk through the strategy with the team and Olivier, and focus on things.

Beretta: I just relax and get my stuff ready.

O'Connell: I generally goof around with the guys as we're getting ready, do some stretches, and think about what we need to do.

Vette: What was the very best lap of your career in a Vette?

Magnussen: The most memorable was when we got the record around the Nürburgring in a Corvette. I had to be faster than [Corvette engineer] Jim Mero.

Gavin: In 2002 in qualifying at Le Mans, we were a little back of the Ferrari. I did a banzai lap on soft tires, and I was on the grass in the first Porsche Curve. I didn't know whether I was going to get it back before the next turn, but fortunately I did. My teammate, Andy Pilgrim, was behind me, and as he came through the first Porsche Curve he saw grass on the track, and he was sure the next sight would be my car rolled up in a ball. That lap really got the adrenaline going!

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Beretta: There is not one; every event has been nice. Le Mans 2004 and 2009 were fantastic.

O'Connell: It's hard to remember one lap, but certain races stand out. Anytime any driver on the team gets a pole, that was a good lap.

Vette: If not a driver, what would you be, and why?

Magnussen: I have no idea; it's never crossed my mind. I was a welder once; maybe I could go back to that.

Gavin: I really don't know. My father and grandfather were engineers; perhaps I'd go into something mechanical like that.

Beretta: When I was a kid, I dreamed about being a jet-fighter pilot because of the speed and discipline.

O'Connell: This is a really difficult question, because in my entire life I've only wanted to be a race-car driver. It's not a question I could answer.


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