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03-15-2007: Magnussen Takes Sebring GT1 Pole for Corvette Racing
Source: GM Media

Gavin Posts Second Quickest Qualifying Time for Season-Opening ALMS Event

SEBRING, Fla. - Jan Magnussen didn't need much time to get comfortable in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. The Danish driver, who has moved from an endurance-racing role in the No. 4 Corvette to a full-season drive in the No. 3 Corvette, put his new ride on the GT1 pole for Saturday's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Magnussen edged his Corvette Racing teammate Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R by .419 seconds. It was Magnussen's third career pole in ALMS competition, but his first with Corvette Racing.

"I had a good run," said Magnussen after completing a lap of the historic 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring airport circuit in 1:57.061 (113.787 mph). "I had to pass a Porsche on my quick lap, and although I didn't lose too much time, I did have to take an odd line going into Turn 13."

Magnussen set the quickest time on his first timed lap, while Gavin posted his best time on his second lap at 1:57.480 (113.381 mph).

"We planned to do as few laps as possible and try to get it on lap one," Magnussen reported. "The car was great from the start, but the track surface was tricky after the support race that ran just before GT1 qualifying. On the first lap with fresh tires the grip was good, but on the second and third laps the track got slicker and slicker."

Gavin encountered traffic on his flying lap that cost the Englishman precious time.

"Catching traffic is always frustrating, but that's just the way it is," Gavin conceded. "We'd made a setup change before the start of the session, but our car didn't respond to the change as we'd hoped, and I had more oversteer. I ended up calling time on the session a lap early because a GT2 car forced me to go wide in the hairpin and I picked up a lot of rubbish on the tires, so that was it.

"I'm disappointed we didn't get pole, but I say, 'Well done!' to Jan," Gavin added. "We've got a good race car, but the track will continue to change as it collects more rubber before the long race on Saturday."

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first round of the 12-race 2007 American Le Mans Series, is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2007. Portions of the 12-hour race will be televised live on SPEED Channel from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 to 10:30 p.m. ET.