CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Gavin, Milner Score Dramatic GTLM Victory
CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Gavin, Milner Score Dramatic GTLM Victory
Corvette DPs finish 1-2-3 as Cameron, Curran win again for Action Express Racing
- 101st all-time victory for Corvette Racing
- No. 4 Corvette C7.R goes from fifth to first in final seven minutes
- Action Express Racing posts third consecutive 1-2 finish
- Chevrolet adds to lead in GT Le Mans Manufacturer, Prototype Engine Manufacturer points
EKLHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 7, 2016) – Corvette Racing and Action Express Racing gave Chevrolet and the Corvette marque two victories today at Road America in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in a thrilling finish by going from fifth to first in the final seven minutes. It was their fourth victory of the season.
Action Express Racing’s Dane Cameron and Eric Curran won at Road America in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Prototype class for the second year in a row and posted their second straight victory of the season in their No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette Daytona Prototype.
It is the first time this season that a Corvette C7.R and Corvette DP recorded victories in the same race. Corvette Daytona Prototypes swept the Prototype podium for the third time in 2016. Chevrolet also solidified its leads in the Prototype Engine and GTLM Manufacturer championships.
"The Corvette DP 1-2-3 finish is the result of great execution by the teams, crews and drivers," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "Congratulations to Dane, Eric and the Action Express Racing No. 31 Whelen Engineering team on the overall win.
"What a wild finish in GTLM!" Campbell added. "Tommy and Oliver drove a great race, the crew made the right adjustment during the last pit stop, and the engineers called a terrific race. Importantly, when the opportunity arose late in the race, Tommy took advantage of it. This 101st win was exciting and special.
"The Corvette Racing and Corvette DP teams never give up, and today is another example."
The GTLM finish was one the team and fans will remember for a long time. It gave Corvette Racing its 101st victory two weeks after winning No. 100 at Lime Rock Park. More importantly, it extended the lead of Gavin and Milner in the GTLM Driver’s Championship and Chevrolet’s advantage in the class Manufacturer standings.
Gavin drove the first 55 minutes before handing off to Milner. Both Gavin and Milner struggled with the handling on the Corvette until the final stop with 51 minutes remaining. Engineer Chuck Houghton and the No. 4 crew made one final adjustment to the Corvette, which proved to be the winning call. Milner advanced from sixth to fifth with 20 minutes remaining before a late-race restart with three laps remaining set the stage for the drama.
Milner took fourth on the restart and watched as three competing GTLM cars suffered misfortune and contact. He made it through and then took the lead on the final lap.
It was Corvette Racing’s seventh class win at Road America and first since 2008. Gavin won for the fourth time at the track, and Milner for the first time = but it was one to remember.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen placed sixth in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. At the start, Garcia had a strong run to third place, and he and Magnussen ran with the No. 4 Corvette for the middle-part of the race.
The team opted to make its final stop 10 minutes later than the sister car in hopes of being part of a late-race push for a victory. The result was enough to unofficially keep Garcia and Magnussen third in the GTLM Driver’s Championship.
In the Prototype race, Cameron held off a hard-charging Joao Barbosa in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP to win by 0.626 seconds.
The victory unofficially drew the Curran/Cameron pairing to within 1 point of Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the Prototype Driver’s Championship. Action Express Racing finished 1-2 for the third consecutive race.
Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor competed the top-three sweep for Chevy power in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel placed sixth for Visit Florida Racing in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP.
The next event for Corvette Racing is the Michelin GT Challenge from Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 28. Corvette DPs return to action alongside Corvette Racing for the Lone Star Le Mans on Saturday, Sept. 17 from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
CORVETTE RACING QUOTES
OLIVER GAVIN, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE WINNER: "An extraordinary finish! It was an amazing, amazing job by Tommy, the crew…the strategy at the end there! It just seemed like the car came alive. We made a change on that last stop, and it just brought the car to life. That was what we were missing in the first part of the race. I don’t think Tommy can believe it. We were looking at fifth, then that caution came and it mixed everything up. There was contact and crazy stuff happening. It is just wonderful. This is such an amazing result for us and it is big, big, big for the championship. I’m so thrilled!"
TOMMY MILNER, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE WINNER: "I’m speechless! I know everybody says that, but literally… We did not have a very good car at the start; it was super loose. But Chuck (Houghton, No. 4 Corvette engineer) made a great change there at the very end; new tires, a bit more wing in the Corvette and it was the best race car I have ever had. I know I said that at Sebring, but this one somehow topped it. This is the best race car I’ve ever had in my life right there. At the end there, it seemed like the other guys couldn’t get their tires up to temp, and mine were ready to go and were there. With two laps to go, there is nothing more that you could ask for than everyone in front of you and a Corvette underneath you!"
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: "The strategy sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t. Today was one of the days that it didn’t. The car never really felt right today. We kept thinking it would come to us with the setup and tires. That has been the story of our season. Congratulations to Oliver and Tommy. We will keep working and hope to get on the right side of it at VIR."
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: "It was a good start. I had a chance to be a tiny bit aggressive into the first turn, but I backed off because I thought it was a little too early to try something that bold. After that things were good. I was able to stay with the lead pack. I thought we might have something for the Porsches especially with our tires. I didn’t think we had the pace to win and just needed to stay close."
PROTOTYPE WINNER QUOTES
ERIC CURRAN, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE WINNER: "This is good stuff. It is awesome to win two races in a row in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. I’m really happy. We have three podiums in a row, and three races in a row for Action Express and one-two finishes. It’s pretty awesome stuff. It helps Dane (Cameron) and I in the championship. It is going to jump us up to our teammates in the No. 5 car. Dane did an awesome job all day today. The Whelan Engineering Corvette was spot-on. It wasn’t a perfect race by any means. We had a few little issues. But at the end of the day, it all worked out for us. I don’t know where we stand in the points, but it has to be close now. It’s been a good year for us, we are trying to win a championship here. It’s fun to have another win."
DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE WINNER: "It was certainly a really tough one here all day. Tire wear is pretty high here. Fuel consumption is high. The competition level in Prototype in certainly really top-notch right now. It is really tough to win races in this category so I’m really proud to be in this Action Express Whelen Corvette Daytona Prototype and to get two in a row. Three one-two finishes in a row for Action Express is something really special. I’m proud to be a part of it. There are two more big races to push forward for the championship, so we will see what happens."
JOAO BARBOSA, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE RUNNER-UP: "The last two years here have been very good to Action Express Racing. We push each other very hard. Each week we get stronger and stronger as a team. The team comes to the track expecting to win. For sure the last three races have worked out very well. It’s great to have our teammates with it. Any car can still win with two races to go. Today I think we were stronger on the longer runs but not really on the restarts for some reason. At the end, our pace was very similar and track position is key. There wasn’t much we could do at the end. Second place for us is an excellent result. We still have two races to go and need to keep working hard."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE RUNNER-UP: "We basically need to race hard but at the same time take care of each other and do our best. It’s still wide-open with us and the 31 car. The 10 car still has a very strong shot at it. But anything can happen. There is still a lot of racing ahead of us. We have to stay on the right foot and see what happens in the last couple of races."