CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: Focus Turns To Race for Another Rolex 24 Victory
Chevy-powered Prototype, GTLM teams have posted Rolex wins the last two years
- Corvette Racing aiming to repeat 2015 GT Le Mans win
- Corvette DP swept top four overall positions in 2014
- Much better weather forecast coming for the weekend
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Corvette Racing and Corvette Daytona Prototypes made it through a treacherous qualifying session unscathed at Daytona International Speedway ahead of this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. Rain pelted the track for most of the day with the worst of it falling during time trials.
Corvette Racing returns to Daytona as the defending GT Le Mans (GTLM) class winner, having finished first and third in class a year ago. Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen will start side-by-side from the class’s fourth row in their Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs. Gavin set a best lap of 2:03.974 (103.377 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R that he will drive with Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler.
Magnussen, part of the lineup in the race-winning Corvette a year ago with Antonio Garcia, had a best lap of 2:05.979 (101.731 mph) in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R that he will share with Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller.
Following its Rolex 24 success last year, Corvette Racing went on to claim endurance racing’s Triple Crown – Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. No team had accomplished that feat in any class in 15 years.
This is the first race for the updated Corvette C7.R, which sees a number of aerodynamic improvements to increase downforce and handling capability. Weather conditions are nearly certain to improve for Friday and the weekend.
In the Prototype category, Ricky Taylor was the fastest Corvette Daytona Prototype driver in qualifying. He set a lap of 2:07.966 (100.152 mph) in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP that he will drive with Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli and Rubens Barrichello. The Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP will start fourth in Prototype.
Dane Cameron in Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP was the next-fastest Chevrolet-powered Prototype driver with a lap of 2:10.016 (98.572 mph). Ryan Dalziel qualified the Visit Florida Racing No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP with a 2:10.610 (98.124 mph).
The No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, the Rolex 24 winner in 2014, was next in the Corvette DP lineup after Joao Barbosa’s lap of 2:15.707 (94.439 mph). Two years ago, Action Express Racing led a Corvette DP sweep of the top four overall positions.
Corvette Racing and Corvette DP teams will have a final one-hour practice at 10:25 a.m. ET on Friday.
The 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona is the start of the 2016 IMSA season and is set for 2:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 30. It will air on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports Go. Live audio coverage from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “The conditions were treacherous. The track in qualifying was as bad as it has been all day. For the most part, making a lap was a matter of chance. It was frustrating not being able to make a proper run but it is what it is. It’s a 24-hour race, and the conditions will be better on the weekend. We’ll move on from this.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Today was less than ideal in a number of areas. The conditions have been far from perfect but we had a really good Corvette. We also had a problem with the windshield fogging, which meant I couldn’t go when the track got better. It’s a long race, and we have a really good record of success in the endurance events. We will be fine.”
RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP: “It was the wettest qualifying I’ve ever done, and it was just a matter of who was willing to take the most risk. We came in with about three-and-a-half minutes still to go in the session because I didn’t want to do one more lap than I had to because I wasn’t in control of the car on the straights. We just got a clean lap when the conditions were the best – or, should I say the least bad. It’s nice to be the fastest of the DPs. We’ve had an excellent rain car for quite some time, now. I think the race is going to be an altogether different story, although I can say we also have a good car in the dry. We have the best team and this is better than we’ve started here the last couple of years. This is hopefully the end of the rain for the rest of the weekend.”
Release Date: January 28, 2016