Johnny O’Connell saying goodbye to GT1, hello to GT2
Just because he has competed in two American Le Mans Series events this year doesn’t mean things aren’t busy for Johnny O’Connell (and for that matter, anyone at Corvette Racing. On the contrary, it has been one of the more productive pre-Le Mans periods the team has undertaken in several years.
Aside from the GT1 farewell at next week’s 24 Hours of Le Mans – where Corvette is going for its sixth class victory since 2001 – development work continues on the team’s new GT2 entry that is set to debut at Mid-Ohio in August. So it has been a mixed bag of emotions during the last couple of months.
“This has been a difficult season in saying good-bye to the GT1 car while at the same time developing the GT2,” O’Connell said. “We certainly have business to take care of at Le Mans but we all remain dedicated to having a new car that can contend right away. Everyone is looking forward to getting more work with it.
“Though that first race with the GT2 car is still what seems a lifetime away, we will soon be flying to France, and once again doing battle at Le Mans,” he added on his personal blog. “The competition should be good, and after finishing second the last two years, and on the same lap as the competition, I know that everyone on the team will be focused on making certain we get the job done this year. Dan Binks has never won there, and no American driver has ever won there four times, so I’d like to remedy both those problems this time.”
The 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 13 to 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 14. SPEED will provide live television coverage. Flag-to-flag coverage of the race, qualifying and practice will be available at radiolemans.com.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. The race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 18. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at Racehub on americanlemans.com. You also can follow the Series on Twitter.