CORVETTE RACING AT ATLANTA: Oh So Close!

Sep 05 2020 Randall Shinn 2020, News, Road Atlanta Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT ATLANTA: Oh So Close!

CORVETTE RACING AT ATLANTA: Oh So Close!
Garcia, Milner just miss out on pole in dynamic GTLM qualifying session

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 4, 2020) – Corvette Racing will start second and third in class for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s TireRack.com Grand Prix following a stunning GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying session Friday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner just missed pole position in their Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs by a whisker ahead of Saturday’s six-hour race. Garcia’s best lap in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R was a 1:16.181 (120.029 mph) effort that ended 0.014 seconds off Nick Tandy’s pole-winning time. Milner was basically Garcia’s equal with a 1:16.212 (119.980 mph) lap in his No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette – just 0.045 seconds off the fastest GTLM lap.

The entire GTLM field was within 0.192 seconds at the end of the 15-minute session. It sets up what should be a tantalizing race – the first long-distance event for Corvette Racing since a February round of the World Endurance Championship and the first in IMSA since the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, which also was the debut of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Garcia and teammate Jordan Taylor enter as the GTLM Drivers’ Championship co-leaders, as does Chevrolet in the Manufacturers’ standings. The Garcia/Taylor pairing has won three times in the last four races including two in a row.

Milner and Oliver Gavin sit third in points with a victory at Sebring in July to their credit. Corvette Racing’s four-race winning streak is its longest since the 2014 season.

The Corvette Racing program has won 10 times at Road Atlanta, eight of those in long-distance endurance rounds. Gavin is IMSA’s winningest active driver at the circuit with five wins, and Taylor is a past IMSA winner at the track, having won twice in a prototype. Road Atlanta is one of the tracks at which Corvette Racing tested the mid-engine C8.R during its development phase, albeit more than a year ago. It has been a good omen so far with victories at Daytona, Sebring, Road America and VIR – all places where the Corvette C8.R was tested in the past.

The TireRack.com Grand Prix is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. ET on Saturday with live coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 11:30 a.m. ET before continuing on Trackpass at 12:30 p.m. and returning to NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. IMSA Radio will have the race on IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED SECOND IN GTLM: “I know where those hundredths of a second are! That’s what hurts a little bit. When it’s that close and you don’t know how close they are, you have to guess where pole position is. I knew pole was a 1:16.1 but I didn’t know where in that range of 1:16.1. I knew I had the slowest 1:16.1 you could get, and I still improved by a hundredth on that last lap. I’m sure I could find a tenth on those laps but everyone else can do the same. I really enjoyed this qualifying where it’s all out and you’re really pushing to go for it. It’s a shame it wasn’t enough and being that close. But we probably chose the best race to do this. We have six hours tomorrow to move up. It’s a good start. The Corvette is there. We had reasonably good practice sessions and good data. The cars should be good in the heat so let’s see where we are in the heat. If we win tomorrow by a hundredth then I’ll be good with that!”

2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings
Driver Standings
1. Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 165
2. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 146
3. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 145
4. Fred Makowiecki/Nick Tandy – 143
5. Jesse Krohn/John Edwards – 141

Team Standings
1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 165
2. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 146
3. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 145
4. No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 143
5. No. 24 BMW Team RLL – 141

Manufacturer Standings
1. Chevrolet – 170
2. BMW – 159
3. Porsche – 156
4. Ferrari – 28

Corvette Racing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
1999
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/John Paul Jr. – 5th in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Scott Sharp – 4th in GTS

2000
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/Justin Bell – 3rd in GTS (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 1st in GTS

2001
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Scott Pruett – 9th in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 1st in GTS (Pilgrim pole)

2002
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Oliver Gavin – 1st in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 3rd in GTS (Pilgrim fastest race lap)

2003*
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell – 3rd in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Oliver Gavin/Kelly Collins – 1st in GTS

2003
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Franck Freon – 5th in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Oliver Gavin/Kelly Collins/Andy Pilgrim – 3rd in GTS

2004
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 2nd in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GTS (Gavin pole, fastest race lap)

2005*
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell – 1st in GT1 (O’Connell pole, fastest race lap)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin – 2nd in GT1

2005
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 6th in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1 (Beretta pole, Gavin fastest race lap)

2006
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 4th in GT1 (O’Connell pole)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 3rd in GT1 (Gavin fastest race lap)

2007
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen – 3rd in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 1st in GT1 (Gavin fastest race lap)

2008
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1 (O’Connell pole, Magnussen fastest race lap)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 2nd in GT1

2009
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell/Antonio Garcia – 6th in GT2
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Marcel Fässler – 4th in GT2

2010
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Johnny O’Connell/Antonio Garcia – 6th in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen/Emmanuel Collard – 1st in GT (Magnussen fastest race lap)

2011
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Tommy Milner/Antonio Garcia – 17th in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen/Richard Westbrook – 4th in GT

2012
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 2nd in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 12th in GT

2013
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 6th in GT (Garcia/Magnussen ALMS GT title)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 10th in GT

2014
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – 8th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Ryan Briscoe – 4th in GTLM

2015
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – 6th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Ryan Briscoe – 3rd in GTLM

2016
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 4th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 3rd in GTLM (Gavin/Milner clinch GTLM title)

2017
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 2nd in GTLM (Garcia/Magnussen clinch GTLM title)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 4th in GTLM

2018
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Marcel Fässler – 8th in GTLM (Garcia/Magnussen clinch GTLM title)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 2nd in GTLM

2019
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 4th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 7th in GTLM
* Two-hour, 45 minute races

CORVETTE RACING AT MICHELIN RACEWAY ROAD ATLANTA: By the Numbers
1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for more than 20 years: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette.
3: Generations of Corvette Racing entries at Road Atlanta since 1999 – Corvette C5-R (1999-04) Corvette C6.R (2005-2013) and Corvette C7.R (2014-current). The new-generation Corvette C8.R makes its Road Atlanta debut this weekend.
6: Career victories at Road Atlanta for Oliver Gavin – all with Corvette Racing. His first came in 2003 (Grand Prix of Atlanta), and five have come in Petit Le Mans (most among active drivers).
10: Number of Road Atlanta victories for Corvette Racing dating back to 2000 – eight of those at Petit Le Mans.
10: Petit Le Mans wins for Chevrolet – eight in GT and two in Prototype. That ranks third among manufacturers in event history.
12: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001.
20: Number of GT Le Mans wins in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing since the start of 2014.
24: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres, Utah, VIR, Washington DC and Watkins Glen.
29: Number of drivers for Corvette Racing since 1999.
111: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 102 in North America and eight at Le Mans.
232: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
36,017.44: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing in its 22 previous trips to Road Atlanta. That represents 13,539 laps or more than 560 trips around Interstate 285 – Atlanta’s Perimeter.
306,399.06: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception. To put that in perspective, Corvette Racing is nearly halfway to the distance traveled by Apollo 13 – the longest manned spaceflight in history – at 622,268 miles.