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ALMS at VIR Info

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2012 American Le Mans Series at VIR

Virginia International Raceway, Danville, Virginia, USA
Sept 13 - 15, 2012

ESPN3 Qualifying 2:25 pm CDT Sept 14th

ESPN3 Race Stream 1:15 pm CDT Sept 15th

ESPN2 Broadcast 4:00 pm CDT Sept 16th


Live Timing for mobile device:




Agenda: Race/VIR Supp Regs.pdf

Track Map: Race/VIR Track Maps.pdf

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Corvette Racing at VIR: Very Important Race

With Championships on the Line, Corvette Team Ventures into Uncharted Territory at Virginia International Raceway

ALTON, Va., Sept. 10, 2012 – According to the state slogan, Virginia is for lovers, but Virginia International Raceway is for racers. The manicured circuit in the rolling Virginia countryside will host Saturday's American Le Mans VIR 240, the ninth round of the 10-race 2012 American Le Mans Series.

The penultimate event on this year's ALMS calendar is indeed a VIR – "Very Important Race" – for Corvette Racing. The Chevy team leads the driver, team, and manufacturer championships in the GT class, and can clinch the titles at VIR. The series' first appearance at VIR is a venture into unexplored territory, however. Corvette Racing was in France preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the ALMS open test held at VIR in June. While all four Corvette Racing drivers have experience at VIR, none has raced a Corvette C6.R on the 3.27-mile Virginia road course.

"Antonio and I both know the circuit," said Jan Magnussen, second in the GT standings with co-driver Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. "It's a fantastic place, a motorsports country club – the scenery is fantastic, the track has a lot of elevation changes, long sweeping corners, and some really tight and tricky bits.

"While we were busy at Le Mans, several teams got a chance to test there, so we are a little behind," Magnussen explained. "Usually Corvette Racing picks these things up quickly, so I don't think that is a huge disadvantage. The competition is extremely close in this series, so we will need a few good practice sessions before qualifying to be able to fight with everyone else."

Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will arrive at VIR with a 28-point lead in the GT standings over their teammates and a 30-point margin over their closest BMW rival. A lead of 24 points at the conclusion of the VIR 240 would clinch the GT championship for the Anglo-American pairing in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R.

"We really are coming to the point in the season where the pressure is on for everybody," said Gavin, who is scheduled to make his milestone 100th career ALMS start on Saturday. "There are championships on the line for drivers, manufacturers, and teams. Everyone is watching everything they do, whether it's a setup change, tire selection, a pit stop, or race strategy. You're wondering how that is going to have a knock-on effect for your end result.

"In reality, championships are never won or lost in these final races," Gavin observed. "A point earned or lost in an early round can make all the difference. There have been races that haven't gone to plan for us, but that has happened with everybody. The teams and drivers in GT are super competitive, and everyone is taking points off each other. No one can predict who is going to come out on top.

"Last year I raced a Camaro in a Grand-Am race at VIR in the rain," Gavin recalled. "I remember it being quite a challenge. It's a fast and flowing track, but it's quite narrow and unforgiving. It's got a unique character that is great fun, and I think it's going to be fantastic in the Corvette C6.R."

Tommy Milner also knows his way around VIR. "I raced there 2004 and 2005," said the longtime Virginia resident. "I've qualified on the pole and I've won there, so I have good memories of the track. The Esses are going to be awesome in these cars, almost flat out and very, very fast. The track is rather narrow, so it will be tough to pass, and if you are ahead, you can make it difficult for people to get around you."

Antonio Garcia is looking forward to this stop on the ALMS tour in his first season as a full-season driver for Corvette Racing – he's driven Daytona Prototypes at VIR for years. Garcia is fresh from a victory in a Corvette DP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday.

"I know the track quite well, but I don't know the Corvette at that track so I will need to adjust, just as the team will adjust the car setup to perform," the Spaniard said. "I am looking forward to going to a track that I already know. The section going toward the Oak Tree corner is fast and flowing, with a series of corners that get your full attention. The circuit will produce really good racing."

While the Corvette C6.R has not raced at VIR, the Corvette crew does have data from bygone days. "We tested at VIR when we were developing the C6.R many years ago," revealed team manager Gary Pratt. "We may be behind on the first day, but by the second day we should be right there. With all of the tools we have now, we won't be at a big disadvantage by not testing there."

The four-hour American Le Mans Series VIR 240, the ninth round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series, will start at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 15. The race can be viewed live on starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will televise the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 16.
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Corvettes Qualify Third and Fourth for ALMS VIR 240

Gavin and Magnussen Claim Second Row in Fast and Furious Qualifying at VIR

ALTON, Va., Sept. 14, 2012 – Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen locked up the second row in GT qualifying for Saturday's VIR 240 at Virginia International Raceway. Gavin qualified the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R third in the 11-car GT field at 1:46.409 (110.630 mph). Magnussen qualified the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R fourth at 1:46.497 (110.538 mph) in the American Le Mans Series' first visit to the Virginia track. Johannes van Overbeek claimed the GT pole in the No. 01 Ferrari with a fast lap at 1:45.988 (111.069 mph).

The top four cars were separated by .509 seconds when the 15-minute qualifying session ended. Times plummeted nearly a second from the best laps turned in practice as the GT teams turned up the wick on the 3.27-mile circuit.

"Qualifying was fast and furious," Gavin said. "I don’t feel that I strung together the best lap. I might have got down to a low 1:46, but I kept missing bits, which frustrates me. Van Overbeek must have just nailed it on his pole lap."

Gavin set the pace in his second and third qualifying laps, but fell to third when van Overbeek and BMW driver Dirk Mueller posted quicker times on their fifth and fourth laps respectively.

"You want to get the time in the first lap because that's when the tires feel at their best, but the pressures aren't quite there and the car isn't settled," the Englishman explained. "Then the speed builds, but the more you run the car, the more it slides. Perhaps that's something we need to work on for the race."

Gavin and co-driver Tommy Milner will start the VIR 240 with a 28-point lead in the GT driver championship and could clinch the title with a top-two finish. "We're in a good spot, we're where we need to be to fight," Gavin noted. "The car's balance is good, and I think we can race everyone just as we have all season long. It's going to be a long, hard four-hour race, and there's not going to be much between anybody."

Magnussen also improved his lap times when it counted. "I improved, but others improved more," he quipped. "The No. 02 Ferrari spun in front of me, so I lost just a bit of time there. I got through the corner clean, but I couldn't see if he was coming back on the track, so I hesitated just a moment. Other than that it was a great lap, maybe it could have been a P2, but who knows? Qualifying here is excellent fun!"

"I had a small radio problem and couldn't communicate with the pits, so I didn't know where I was," Magnussen reported. "I'm quite happy with the balance of the car and I'm quite happy with the lap times. Obviously the Ferrari's pole lap was a bit of a shock, but the Corvettes and BMWs are right there, as usual. It should be an interesting race."

The four-hour American Le Mans Series VIR 240, the ninth round of the 10-race 2012 American Le Mans Series, will start at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 15. The race can be viewed live on starting at 2:15 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will televise the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 16.

American Le Mans Series VIR 240 GT Qualifying (Top 10)

Pos./Car No./Drivers/Car/Time

1. 01 Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari 458 Italia, 1:45.988

2. 56 D. Mueller/Summerton, BMW E92 M3, 1:46.359

3. 4 Gavin/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 1:46.409

4. 3 Magnussen/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 1:46.497

5. 45 Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:46.583

6. 44 Neiman/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:46.601

7. 55 J. Mueller/Auberlen, BMW E92 M3, 1:46.680

8. 17 Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:48.014

9. 48 Miller/Maassen, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:48.319

10. 23 Sweedler/Bell, Lotus Evora, 1:48.940
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