CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD ATLANTA: Championship Battle Down to the Wire

Oct 09 2018 Randall Shinn 2018, News, Road Atlanta Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD ATLANTA: Championship Battle Down to the Wire
CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD ATLANTA: Championship Battle Down to the Wire

Garcia, Magnussen aiming for second straight GTLM Driver Championship

  • Fourth-place class finish would clinch title for No. 3 Corvette C7.R team
  • Gavin, Milner look for second victory of season
  • Ten victories at Road Atlanta for Corvette Racing – eight in Petit Le Mans
  • Petit Le Mans to be 22nd appearance for Corvette Racing at Road Atlanta

DETROIT (Oct. 9, 2018) – As the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship draws to a close this weekend, Corvette Racing finds itself in a familiar spot: fighting for another title at Road Atlanta. Saturday’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans is the final race on the IMSA calendar with championships in each of the three classes up for grabs at the series’ cornerstone event.

That includes GT Le Mans (GTLM), where Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen look to successfully defend their Driver Championship from a year ago. The pairing, who share the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, lead the Driver standings by nine points and need to finish fourth or better to clinch their third title together.

It would give Corvette Racing three consecutive Driver and Team championships, as well as increase the total to 13 Team titles and 12 Driver titles for the program in its 20-year history.

Garcia and Magnussen will have some help at Road Atlanta as Marcel Fässler will be entered in both Corvette Racing entries. The physical nature of the event around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit an hour north of Atlanta can take a heavy toll, so long-distance drivers for Petit Le Mans are common.

Fässler also stands to see time in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R alongside full-season teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner. The latter pairing has Corvette Racing’s lone victory this season, which came at Long Beach. The No. 4 Corvette duo stands fifth in points and is only six points out of third place.

Corvette Racing hasn’t missed a Petit Le Mans since the program began in 1999. It has eight class victories – the most of any team in race history – and two additional Road Atlanta wins that came in American Le Mans Series sprint events.

Not surprisingly, two Corvette Racing drivers rank among race leaders in victories and starts. Magnussen will make his 20th consecutive Petit Le Mans start, and he has won four times. Gavin is tied for most race victories with five, and he hasn’t missed a start since 2000.

Corvette Racing on Display at Road Atlanta

The final race for Corvette Racing of the IMSA season also means the final chance for fans to visit Chevrolet’s Corvette Racing Display. Located in the Fan Midway, the display will allow fans a chance to  view and learn about a variety of Chevrolet vehicles, accessories and attractions including:

• The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, the most powerful production Corvette ever built

• The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51, Camaro 2SS Coupe, Silverado LT Trail Boss and HD High Country, Equinox Premier, Cruze Premier and Traverse High Country

• A Corvette C7.R show car and Camaro GT4.R race car

• Samples of Chevrolet engines, performance parts and accessories available to fans for purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer

• A variety of Chevrolet and racing related activities for adults and kids

• Commemorative t-shirts for fans who sign up with Corvette Racing.

The Corvette Racing Display opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday.

Petit Le Mans is set for 11:05 a.m. ET on Saturday with live television coverage on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Streaming in-car footage along with live audio coverage of practice, qualifying and the race from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “There’s always pressure when you go to Road Atlanta, especially when you are fighting for a championship. We were in a perfect scenario last season where we only needed to start to clinch. It won’t be like that this year. I really like this track and the event itself. It’s very challenging. Hopefully we have a good chance to win the championship by scoring a good result. Road Atlanta has always been a good track for Corvette Racing, but it’s one race that I still haven’t won! So I definitely want to fix that. Hopefully we can fix that this year and win the championship, as well.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Last year was an easy Petit Le Mans for us; we basically took the green flag and won the championship. This year for sure will be different. It’s a tough race because you race throughout the day and into the night. Road Atlanta is a very tough circuit; it’s bumpy, super fast and very old school. If you make a mistake, you’ll hit something! There’s a lot of traffic and some new drivers because so many teams use three drivers. The important thing is that we know what we need to. No one controls luck, but we do the best we can and run the plan that we set out to do, we will be in good shape.”

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Petit Le Mans is always an intense race. Road Atlanta itself is a tight track; it has a lot of elevation changes with a lot of speed. Each year it seems to get quicker and quicker. You know you’re going to get a big grid, so traffic will be an issue. Add on to that that championships are be decided, and those altogether really crank up the intensity you feel. It’s fun but there’s still a bit of a battle. Winning that event is a really big feather in your cap and carries good momentum into next year.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Petit Le Mans is definitely a highlight. There is something extra about Petit Le Mans where you go into a championship weekend. People from around the world come to Road Atlanta and really embraced it as a really big event, which it is. In a lot of ways, it’s like Sebring where people line up early to get their camping spot. It’s a lot of people who enjoy great sports car racing at one of the best tracks we go to. It makes that event so special.”

MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 3 and NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Petit Le Mans is something special and exciting for all of us. It has been growing from year to year. It has become a race that is growing toward being a legend. Maybe it’s not quite on the same level as Sebring, but it is getting close. It’s a big event for all of us, especially us in Europe, because you want to be part of a race like this. It’s exciting for us to come to the track and see the fans lined up and waiting to come in before the gates open. It’s always nice to see that kind of environment.

DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “Another championship run for Corvette Racing comes down to Road Atlanta. Petit Le Mans has earned its stature as one of endurance racing’s prime events over the last 20 years. The track, the fans, the atmosphere and level of competition make it a can’t-miss race. Road Atlanta presents a number of challenges we don’t see many other places. The layout and elevation changes throughout the lap put a real importance on managing traffic. Add in a couple hours of running in the dark to the end of the race, and you have a true championship-caliber test. It’s one we’ve conquered eight times before and are eager to do again.”

2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings (After 10 of 11 Events)

Driver Standings Team Standings Manufacturer Standings
1. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 299

2. Richard Westbrook/Ryan Briscoe – 290

3. Dirk Mueller/Joey Hand – 284

4. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 283

5. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 278

1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 299

2. No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 290

3. No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 284

4. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 283

5. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 278

1. Ford – 323

2. Chevrolet – 313

3. Porsche – 306

4. BMW – 302

5. Ferrari – 58

Corvette Racing at Road Atlanta

Year Class Drivers Result Car Notes
1999 GTS Fellows/Kneifel/Paul Jr. 5th Corvette C5-R
GTS Pilgrim/Collins/Sharp 4th Corvette C5-R
2000 GTS Fellows/Kneifel/Bell 3rd Corvette C5-R Fellows pole
GTS Pilgrim/Collins/Freon 1st Corvette C5-R
2001 GTS Fellows/O’Connell 9th Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Pilgrim/Freon 1st Corvette C5-R Pilgrim pole
2002 GTS Fellows/O’Connell/Gavin 1st Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Pilgrim/Freon 3rd Corvette C5-R Pilgrim fastest race lap
2003* GTS Fellows/O’Connell 3rd Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Gavin 1st Corvette C5-R
2003 GTS Fellows/O’Connell/Freon 5th Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Gavin/Pilgrim 3rd Corvette C5-R
2004 GTS Fellows/O’Connell/Papis 2nd Corvette C5-R
GTS Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen 1st Corvette C5-R Gavin pole, fastest race lap
2005* GT1 Fellows/O’Connell 1st Corvette C6.R O’Connell pole, fastest race lap
GT1 Beretta/Gavin 2nd Corvette C6.R
2005 GT1 Fellows/O’Connell/Papis 6th Corvette C6.R
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen 1st Corvette C6.R Beretta pole, Gavin fastest race lap
2006 GT1 Fellows/O’Connell/Papis 4th Corvette C6.R O’Connell pole
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen 3rd Corvette C6.R Gavin fastest race lap
2007 GT1 Magnussen/O’Connell/Fellows 3rd Corvette C6.R
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Papis 1st Corvette C6.R Gavin fastest race lap
2008 GT1 Magnussen/O’Connell/Fellows 1st Corvette C6.R O’Connell pole, Magnussen fastest lap
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Papis 2nd Corvette C6.R
2009 GT2 Magnussen/O’Connell/Garcia 6th Corvette C6.R
GT2 Beretta/Gavin/Fassler 4th Corvette C6.R
2010 GT Beretta/O’Connell/Garcia 6th Corvette C6.R
GT Gavin/Magnussen/Collard 1st Corvette C6.R Magnussen fastest race lap
2011 GT Beretta/Milner/Garcia 17th Corvette C6.R
GT Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook 4th Corvette C6.R
2012 GT Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 2nd Corvette C6.R
GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 12th Corvette C6.R
2013 GT Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 6th Corvette C6.R Garcia/Magnussen clinch ALMS GT title
GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 10th Corvette C6.R
2014 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Briscoe 8th Corvette C7.R
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Briscoe 4th Corvette C7.R
2015 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Briscoe 6th Corvette C7.R
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Briscoe 3rd Corvette C7.R
2016 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller 4th Corvette C7.R
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Fässler 3rd Corvette C7.R Gavin/Milner clinch GTLM title
2017 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller 2nd Corvette C7.R Garcia/Magnussen clinch GTLM title
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Fässler 4th Corvette C7.R