Monday, May 14, 2012

Gavin Makes It Two For Corvette

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – It could not have been a better day to run the third round of American Le Mans series at Laguna Seca. The Muscle Milk HPD or Graf/Luhrs easily claimed P1 and the overall wins with a 3-lap lead over P2 winning Level 5 HDP of Tucker/Diaz/Montagny. Third place went to the PC-class ORECA entry of Bennett/Braun. The GT-class Corvettes of Oliver/Milner and Magnussen/Garcia claimed a 1-2 finish in exciting, nail-biting competition.
P1 was essentially an uncontested class with the second place prototype finishing over 20-laps back. P2 was a bit more exciting, though hard to keep track of drivers. The pole-sitting No. 55 Level 5 of Montagny led the first 3-hours until colliding with a GTC-class car, conceding the lead to the No. 95 Level 5 HPD piloted at the time by Scott Tucker. Montagny was able to complete the final 90-minute stint in the No. 95 entry achieving a top-of-the-podium finish for the Frenchman. PC-class was quite an exciting show coming down to the last lap as the CORE Autosport ORECA of Braun/Bennett passed the RSR Racing’s entry of Junquera/Drissi/Gonzalez as they “picked” around a CTC car. The CORE entry of Popow/Kimber-Smith came in third with only 1.725 seconds separating the three PC cars.
The real show was in GT-class where the race could have been won by either of 7 cars. The two Corvettes, two BMWs, and three Porsche’s were within 2 seconds in the last hour of the race. Oliver Gavin took the lead with an hour to go as he passed the Team Falken Porsche of Wolf Henzler. But then Bill Auberlen gave Gavin a run for the money in the BMW but was unable to pass the faster Corvette. With 15 minutes to go, the Corvette of Magnussen/Garcia went around the BMW giving the Michigan team a 1-2 finish, and their 2nd consecutive ALMS win. The GT Challenge race was won by the TRG entry of Bleekemolen/DiGuida with the Sofronas/Welch/Villenuve GMG RSR coming in second. Bob Faieta of Competition Motorsports managed a third place finish with co-drivers Cort Wagner and Michael Avenatti.

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