LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 4, 2012 - In Olympic terms, Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the gold today in the GT class at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series. Instead of medals, Gavin and Milner were awarded silver trophies and the maximum championship points as they notched their third win of the season in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R.
The pair reclaimed the lead in the driver standings with a .283-second victory over the No. 45 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, and extended Chevrolet's lead in the GT manufacturer championship. The win was the eighth for Corvette Racing at Mid-Ohio, but the first in the GT class after a string of three consecutive runner-up finishes that began in 2009.
The No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia was running third with 20 minutes remaining when contact with a GTC Porsche punctured the left-front tire and damaged the suspension. The Corvette crew repaired the car and returned Magnussen to battle, but the 12 minutes lost in the pits dropped the No. 3 Corvette to 13th at the finish.
Gavin made the decisive pass for the victory immediately after the final round of pit stops with one hour remaining in the two-hour, 45-minute race. Gavin caught Magnussen on his out-lap and then passed race leader Bergmeister with a daring outside move to notch his third ALMS win at Mid-Ohio and the 37th of his career.
"I had one lap on my new tires, and I caught Jan going into Turn 2," Gavin said. "My crew chief radioed that Joerg was on cold tires and told me to go for it! Last year I passed him around the outside into Turn 4, and I did the same again. I thought I could pull it off, and I'm so pleased that I did."
Bergmeister responded by putting intense pressure on the Corvette as the pair raced nose-to-tail in the closing laps.
"At the end of the race, there wasn't much between us and I got caught up in some traffic," Gavin reported. "It was tough, and those last few laps were really hard. I'm thrilled with the result and what it means for the championship. This is exactly what we needed after a couple of difficult races."
Milner started sixth on the GT grid, but rocketed to third on the first lap. He held that position until the first pit stop at the 30-minute mark as the