CORVETTE RACING AT CHARLOTTE: Racing Into the Unknown

Oct 06 2020 Randall Shinn 2020, Charlotte, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT CHARLOTTE: Racing Into the Unknown

CORVETTE RACING AT CHARLOTTE: Racing Into the Unknown

• First race at Charlotte Roval for Corvette Racing
• Program remains first and second in GTLM Drivers Championship
• Team to use Chevrolet simulator day before and day of official practice
• Data exchange between Corvette Racing, Chevrolet NASCAR engineers a key
• Corvette Racing hoping for second GT-only race win of IMSA season

DETROIT (Oct. 6, 2020) – As a team that has been competing around the world for more than 20 years, very rarely does Corvette Racing experience anything new. That’s not the case this weekend as the long-standing program races for the first time at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in a 100-minute sprint race.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will hold its second GT-only event of the season Saturday night at Charlotte with Corvette Racing among the favorites to take its second overall victory of 2020. In the first year with the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, Corvette Racing has claimed five victories in the last six races since the COVID-19 lockdown period ended in July. One of those was a GT-only win at Virginia International Raceway for Corvette Racing teammates Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor.

The pairing shares the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R and holds the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship lead with four victories, including the most recent IMSA round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner sit second in points with one victory and three runner-up finishes – including in the last two races at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio in their No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Those efforts have Chevrolet ahead in the GTLM Manufacturers’ Championship heading to a new, unique venue. Corvette Racing participated in a single-day test on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn Charlotte Roval circuit a month ago to gain much-needed experience at the facility. Just as key to the preparations have been multiple sessions at Chevrolet’s Driver-in-the-Loop (DiL) simulator and exchanges of track data between Corvette Racing engineers and t Chevrolet’s NASCAR Cup Series engineering team. Chevrolet has race-winning experience at Charlotte with Chase Elliott’s victory a year ago in NASCAR competition.

Despite the drastic differences in the mid-engine Corvette C8.R and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in the Cup series, track surface insight from the NASCAR program provided Corvette Racing with data to establish a baseline setup ahead of the Charlotte test.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s race at Charlotte is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET on Saturday with live television coverage on NBCSN and live streaming via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. In addition, IMSA Radio will broadcast the race on IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring. The race also will air on XM channel 202 and SiriusXM Online 972.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We will be racing into the unknown. It’s a new track for everyone, although all of the GTLM manufacturers tested there for a day. It will be different… feeling like a single-day event with just two practices and racing at night with some potential poor weather coming, too. Things could be very unpredictable. It feels kind of similar to a street circuit in some parts. There are few places where the walls go by very fast because you are so close to them. There won’t be much resting, especially on the infield.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “This will be pretty intense. The test was important to do considering how little track time there is. It’s definitely a unique track with the layout and not much room for error. There aren’t a lot of passing opportunities, so qualifying will be pretty important. It’s a 100-minute race so it’s going to come down to execution with the one pit stop. Limiting mistakes on track, in the pits and on strategy… everything is going to have to go our way to have a good result. Going in there with the championship lead and four races to go, we will continue to treat it as we have all year-long – race for the win and if it’s not in the cards then go for the best result we can get.”

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “All three of my teammates came back from the test and said, ‘Whoa… that place is intense!’ I’ve not actually been on the track yet. I’m doing some simulator work a day or two beforehand to familiarize myself, and I’ve had a look at it on iRacing. In talking to the other guys about Charlotte, it feels quite tight and intense. It has a street circuit feel to it. I did a little bit on the simulator that I have at home, and I’ll be going to our Chevrolet simulator Thursday and Friday before the race. We’ll be at the simulator Friday morning and then at the track Friday afternoon – going from the virtual world to the real world all in one day.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Our approach is that we will focus on trying to execute in a situation that isn’t normal for us – a new track, racing late at night, not having our normal setup and not using the pitlane until the race comes. It’ll be a big test to see who can execute the best. The track can be punishing on mistakes. In some ways, it’s almost worse than a street track. The grip level is so high that you’re going pretty good through some of those corners with zero margin for error. Racing at night throws another wrench into the game. It’ll be a big challenge. Ultimately, we have to keep our cars in one piece and get a good result. It’ll be tricky with the traffic and night-time conditions.”

2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings
(After Seven of 11 Events)

Driver Standings
1. Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 226
2. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 209

3. Bruno Spengler/Connor De Phillippi – 204
4. Jesse Krohn/John Edwards – 199
5. Fred Makowiecki/Nick Tandy – 171
6. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 171

Team Standings
1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 226
2. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 209

3. No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 204
4. No. 24 BMW Team RLL – 199
5. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 171
6. No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 171

Manufacturer Standings
1. Chevrolet – 237
2. BMW – 226
3. Porsche – 186
4. Ferrari – 28