O'Connell: Corvette set for strong race
|By Stuart Codling and Matt Beer||Thursday, June 10th 2010, 17:55 GMT|
Corvette driver Johnny O'Connell is confident his squad will be at the forefront of the GT2 battle in the race despite Ferrari having the upper hand in first qualifying.
After becoming the last major team left in GT1, Corvette is now up against Ferrari, BMW and Porsche in the thriving GT2 class. O'Connell's team-mate Antonio Garcia put their car second on the provisional GT2 grid behind the Risi Ferrari last night.
"We don't run a qualifying set-up so we were pretty pleased with how things went last night," O'Connell told AUTOSPORT. "We're going to run what will be a hard, competitive pace.
"I think that all of us drivers are way more apprehensive about our pace than the engineers were. The engineers - they can be pretty confident. Normally when we come here we're not happy on the first day. It's not until the late session on Thursday that you start feeling good.
"But we rolled off pretty good. We're pretty close on set-up. We've got a little more work to do to understand how the different Michelin compounds are going to work for us, but we've found some things that the car likes."
He does not think there is much to choose between the major GT2 contenders.
"I haven't been around the Porsches or Ferraris much, but I've been around the BMWs," said O'Connell. "Certain areas they have us, certain areas we have them. It's difficult to tell because they're running Dunlops – I don't know how those tyres are going to perform for them here, or what set-ups they were running yesterday.
"We're not going to really know what everyone else has until we're out there in the race with them. Quite often, if I'm running and I've got a car in front of me, and he's going to show me what he's going to do – okay, then I'll learn.
"If I see a competitor behind me in a practice session, I'll let them go because I don't want them to know what I'm capable of doing."