ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 18, 2012 - The Road America Road Race Showcase was going Corvette Racing's way for the first three hours, but the final 60 minutes saw a reversal of fortune for the Chevrolet team. After running at the front from the start of the four-hour race, the Corvettes were shuffled down the finishing order in the closing minutes.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner finished fourth in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R after their pit stop strategy was undone by an ill-timed yellow flag. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia were sixth in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R after Magnussen was hit from behind in the final corner while running third. The victory went to the No. 55 BMW driven by Bill Auberlen and Joerg Mueller by 2.631 seconds over the No. 45 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long.
"We saw one of the most interesting final hours of racing in this team's history," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "We had what we thought was a very successful pit strategy planned, but coming out of the last yellow, the BMWs were first and second and the No. 3 Corvette was third. The BMWs went from being out of contention to running at the front with yellow flags and pit stops. It was unfortunate for us and fortunate for them. We've won races that way, and this was one that we didn't win."
Magnussen was running fourth when racing resumed with 20 minutes on the clock after the race's fourth full-course caution period. He passed the No. 01 Ferrari of Johannes van Overbeek in Canada Corner on the restart, and set out in pursuit of the race-leading BMWs. He made his move in Turn 1, but Joerg Bergmeister slipped through in a cloud of tire smoke to take second. Just as the checkered flag flew, contact with the No. 01 Ferrari in the final corner spun Magnussen off the track.
"I passed the No. 56 BMW in Turn 1 with a move similar to Laguna Seca where I towed up behind a prototype," Magnussen said. "He went to the inside and I followed. Suddenly the prototype stopped, I flat-spotted my tires and lost a lot of speed. Joerg got by, so I was still in third and I was going to try to salvage a podium finish, which would have been good for Chevrolet in the manufacturer championship. Then in the last corner, Van Overbeek drove into the back of my car. I'm very disappointed, and I'll leave it at that."