CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Seventh Starting Spot in GTE Pro
Milner, Jordan Taylor qualify No. 65 Konica Minolta/Michelin Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 65 Konica Minolta/Michelin Chevrolet Corvette C7.R will start seventh Saturday in the GTE Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race at Circuit of The Americas. Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor posted a combined average laptime of 2:08.674 around the 3.4-mile, 20-turn layout in qualifying ahead of the Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas.
Corvette Racing is running the FIA WEC round in tandem with its two-car entry in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Milner and Taylor are joined by Ricky Taylor in the entry sponsored by Konica Minolta and Michelin.
It is the first WEC race for Corvette Racing outside the Le Mans 24 Hours, and Friday was the first time for either driver – and the Corvette Racing team, for that matter – to contest the FIA WEC’s qualifying format. The grid for all four classes is set by averaging the two best laps from each team’s two qualifying drivers.
Jordan Taylor set the car’s fastest lap in qualifying at 2:06.878, and Milner’s best time was a 2:09.558. The latter had to deal with rainy conditions at the start of the session; however the track continued to dry as qualifying went on. The Corvette Racing crew spent Thursday and Friday tweaking and adjusting the No. 65 entry, which served as the team’s test car during the development of the Corvette C7.R prior to the start of the TUDOR Championship season.
The Milner/Taylor/Taylor combination is the only all-American tandem in the FIA WEC race. In the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race earlier in the day, Milner will drive Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R alongside Oliver Gavin in the GT Le Mans class. The Taylors in their No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype. The two-hour, 45-minute TUDOR Championship race will precede the six-hour WEC round.
The FIA WEC’s Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas will be televised live starting at 6 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2. Online coverage also will be available on the WEC website with live radio coverage available via radiolemans.com.
CORVETTE RACING FIA WEC QUOTES
“That was probably the most difficult situation (the weather and qualifying format) you can put a brand new team in. It was very unfamiliar, and we have never tried a qualifying session like that before. So as far as the average goes, we certainly could be quicker and it is what it is. I think we are ninth or so within the GT cars, and more importantly it seems like we have made nice steps in the right direction with the car in the times that we have gone out. From a car that was sitting for six months to a car that is now racing against some of the toughest competition in the world, I would say job well done by Corvette Racing.”
“It’s hard to have high expectations coming into it as a one-off race, but we made a lot of progress with the car through practice and made it close in the last session. Unfortunately qualifying was a bit of a mess with the rain and the format in how it works; it was tricky with a wet couple of corners but we got a good feel for the car. We have got some good ideas for the race to make a few more improvements but it’s a six-hour race so if we just stay out of trouble, we can be there at the end.
“For Ricky and I, (the biggest thing is) just getting laps in the car and getting used to it. From the car point of view, we can use a lot of data from the TUDOR Championship Corvette C7.Rs, so if we don’t make a lot of progress in our session, we can always refer back to those guys for some help and vice versa.”
Release Date: September 19, 2014