Johnny O' Connell

News Archive

Long Beach 2010
Added 04/21/10

It is always fun going to Long Beach, as I did a lot of my early racing in southern California and I get the opportunity to run across old friends.    But for us in the American Le Mans Series, the race is always a challenge as we never get good track time, and the importance of rolling off the truck with a good race car is unreal important.    At Corvette Racing we have the most amazing engineers, and we had a good car from the get go.

It was my turn to qualify, and I was pleased to get third.   My tires went off more than I expected them too, and got held up some on my best lap, but all in all I felt we were in good position.    The Ferrari as I expected was very fast and got the pole, and then Wolf Henzler in the Kumho Tire Porsche was very fast as well.   They really have stepped up on their tires, and I think they will be a force to recon with all year.

My stint for the most part was pretty uneventful.   There was hard racing between the Ferrari and Porsche right in front of me, and early in the race I was content to just hold position and see what would happen.   Jorg in the 45 car was behind me, but lacked just a tic of pace so I wasn’t that concerned with him.    My only big problem was when a LMPC car got between myself and the Ferrari and Porsche and held me up for about 4 laps.   That cost me a lot of time and at about an hour into the race there was a full course caution which bunched us all up again and allowed everyone to stop.

Jan got into the car, and having a tic of problem getting the steering wheel on, restarted in 6th.    Knowing how hard it would be to work through traffic I knew he would have a challenge ahead of him.  Both BMW’s did not take tires on their stop and as a result they were first and second…. But would have their hands full when things went green not having good tires.

Jan did an awesome job working back to the front, and managed to get up to second.    So for us a great rebound from Sebring.    The 45 car of Jorg and Patrick Long ended up winning, and they both drove a great race, had a good pit stop, and I know that all year we will have good battles with them.  

As always the guys on Corvette Racing, did an awesome job.   Where the paddock was set up was a complete embarrassment as there was virtually no room for the guys to work on the car, and I know how frustrated they must have been.    I barely heard them complain though, and instead did what they always do which is give us great cars and 100 percent effort.

The next thing on our schedule is to do some testing in preparation for Le Mans.    As always that race is the cornerstone of our season, and we plan on being totally ready for the job we need to do.    A new challenge for sure for us being in GT 2 and we plan on getting another win for Corvette and America.    But before then we also have a race to run at Laguna.   I know that both Jan and I feel that place owes us one, and count on everyone on the #3 car being ready, and as hungry as ever….


Johnny O