CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Garcia Fourth in GTLM Qualifying in Corvette C7.R
Christian Fittipaldi best of Corvette DP qualifiers with third-place showing
- Garcia, Magnussen seek to regain GTLM points lead
- Corvette DPs fill second and third rows of Prototype grid
- Chevrolet aims to extend Prototype Engine Manufacturer points advantage
Antonio Garcia led Corvette Racing’s qualifying effort at Circuit of The Americas on Friday as the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R will start on the second row of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) grid for Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans race in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Garcia, who drives with Jan Magnussen, set a time of 2:04.651 (98.194 mph) to qualify fourth in class. Garcia and Magnussen stand second in GTLM points and won at the track in 2013 as part of the American Le Mans Series GT class.
In the TUDOR Championship’s Prototype category, Christian Fittipaldi was the quickest Corvette Daytona Prototype driver and qualified third in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.
Garcia and Magnussen are five points out of the championship lead, having opened the season with victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Garcia was 0.255 seconds off Patrick Pilet’s pole-winning time.
Tommy Milner set a best lap of 2:05.245 (97.728 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R he drives with Oliver Gavin. The duo won their class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year with Jordan Taylor; with the FIA World Endurance Championship racing on the weekend with the TUDOR Championship, there are frequent reminders of Corvette Racing’s eighth class victory at Le Mans.
Fittipaldi, who posted a lap of 1:59.008 (102.850 mph) and teammate Joao Barbosa are part of a three-team fight for the Prototype Driver’s Championship. Six Corvette DP drivers are within two points of each other with two races to go, including the Sebring-winning Fittipaldi/Barbosa duo, which won there with Sebastien Bourdais.
Fittipaldi will start Saturday alongside Jordan Taylor in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP after a best lap of 1:59.033 (102.829 mph). Action Express Racing’s Eric Curran qualified the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP fifth at 2:00.011 (101.991 mph), followed by championship co-leader Michael Valiante in VisitFlorida.com Racing’s No. 90 Corvette DP. His best lap was 2:00.111 (101.906 mph).
In the Prototype Engine Manufacturer standings, Chevrolet holds a 26-point lead with 70 points available in the final two races.
The Lone Star Le Mans race for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is set for 11:35 a.m. CT on Saturday. It will air live on FOX Sports 2 and again at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 20 on FOX Sports 1. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
CORVETTE RACING GTLM QUOTES
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It’s hard to know what kind of pace we really have. At Road America, we qualified toward the front but in race pace we were nowhere close to our competitors. I don’t know if that will happen to do. But for sure we are doing as much as we can and learning as much as we can. There is the tire, the car and temperature – all things to consider. There had to be an enormous change in temperature from the morning. The car didn’t feel that great compared to this morning considering the grip we had. But apparently we weren’t that slow. We just need to keep focusing and get the most out of it.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SEVENTH: “We’ve definitely improved the car over the weekend. These are the worst track conditions we’ve had, and you could feel that in the grip level. Balance-wise, the car was the best it’s been. We came from a place that wasn’t very good to place where our Corvette is nicer to drive. We’re still obviously down a bit. Antonio had a good lap. I think because we’ve been making changes quite a bit, we left some on the race track. I didn’t get the best out of the tire for sure. It’s frustrating that we’ve been off the pace this weekend, but our guys have been working as hard as they can to improve things. I’m feeling better about the race now.”
CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE QUOTES
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP – QUALIFIED THIRD: “I can’t complain. I think it was a very good day. We thought from the beginning that we would have a good car for the race. We definitely didn’t lose as much as the other guys did from this morning. I’m pretty happy with it. Action Express Racing and Chevrolet did a great job. Let’s go at it tomorrow. There are two races: the championship with the 31 and 90, and the other is to win the actual race. After qualifying today in the heat we saw, I think we have a great chance tomorrow.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – QUALIFIED FOURTH: “It was a decent qualifying run. I think the best we could have done was third so fourth isn’t terrible. I didn’t love the car for qualifying, but the balance we had is promising for what the race will have. It felt like a more consistent car than a car for lap time. For what it was, it was decent. A lot is going to happen and I’m sure strategy will be part of the game. It’s definitely our hottest race of the year; that with a pretty physical track will make for a long race. We’ll stay hydrated tonight and as cool as possible tomorrow.”
ERIC CURRAN, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINGEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – QUALIFIED FIFTH: “It was a decent run but not quite what I wanted out of my lap time. I was quicker this morning than what we showed this afternoon. Of course it was extremely hot. We made some changes to the car – maybe a little more than I wanted to. But we’re happy with fifth. It’s a long race. We’re where we need to be with the lead cars and in front of the No. 90, which is a good thing. We’ll keep charging forward and make it a good race.”
TUDOR Championship – GTLM Standings (After eight of 10 events)
|Driver Standings||Team Standings||Manufacturer Standings|
|1. Patrick Pilet – 248
2. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 243
3. Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner – 240
T4. John Edwards/Lucas Luhr – 233
T4. Giancarlo Fisischella/Pierre Kaffer – 233 7. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 206
|1. No. 911 Porsche N. America – 248
2. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 243
3. No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 240
4. No. 24 BMW Team RLL – 233
5. No. 62 Risi Competizione – 233
8. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 206
|1. Porsche – 260
2. BMW – 252
3. Chevrolet – 246
4. Ferrari – 242
TUDOR Championship – Prototype Standings (After eight of 10 events)
|Driver Standings||Team Standings||Manufacturer Standings|
|1. Michael Valiante/Richard Westbrook – 248
2. Joao Barbosa/Christian Fittipaldi – 247
3. Dane Cameron/Eric Curran – 246
4. Joey Hand/Scott Pruett – 232
5. Jordan Taylor/Ricky Taylor – 230
|1. No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing – 248
2. No. 5 Action Express Racing – 247
3. No. 31 Action Express Racing – 246
4. No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing – 232
5. No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing – 230
|1. Chevrolet – 277
2. Ford – 251
3. Honda – 242
4. Mazda – 224
5. BMW – 58
Lone Star Le Mans – GT LeMans (all times CT unless noted)
- TUDOR Warmup: 8 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19
- Race: 11:35 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19 (FOX Sports 2)
- Replay: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 20 (FOX Sports 1)
Release Date: September 18, 2015