CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: Halfway Report
MSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
CORVETTE RACING DRIVER QUOTES – Halfway Update
JANUARY 27, 2019
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2019) – Halfway through the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs remained in the thick of a back-and-forth battle for the lead in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Oliver Gavin ran in the top-five in class in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette as the opening round of the 2019 season moved into its second half. It put Corvette Racing in solid position to challenge for a fourth Rolex 24 victory and third since 2015.
The No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler found itself in contention from the get-go after starting ninth in class. Gavin moved up to fourth before handing over to Milner near the two-hour mark, and the No. 4 Corvette raced its way to the lead a little more than an hour later. All three drivers spent time in the lead of the class.
The trio of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller also led multiple times in the opening half of the race. It was a remarkable achievement for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R following a pit-lane collision with the sister car near the two-hour mark. Timely caution periods and solid strategy not only made up laps, but they also helped Garcia move back into the lead less than 10 hours later.
Unfortunately, the No. 3 Corvette suffered an electrical issue that impacted the digital dash around the track. As a result, the car-to-pits telemetry was compromised including fuel monitoring. That issue reared its head just before halfway as Garcia ran out of fuel on the backstretch of the 3.56-mile circuit.
Once back in the pitlane Garcia handed over to Rockenfeller, who re-entered eighth in class.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
"The first set of tires I had in that last stint didn’t perform just as I wanted to. But Chuck (Houghton, engineer) worked on the car and on the tire, and our C7.R was significantly better that second stint. I was battling hard with the BMW and the Ford, which was nice. I think we are on par with the Ferrari, but the Porsche is very quick. I have to say they will mostly likely be our biggest rivals the rest of the way. A lot can happen and there’s a long way to go. Let’s see how things turn out. Tommy is back in right now and is doing a great job, as did Marcel before me."
(Seeing the No. 3 Corvette back on the lead lap) "I was beating myself up pretty bad about what happened at that early pitstop on the first driver change. I’m very, very happy that they’ve managed to get back up and are on parity with us. Now we can race hard and fair. I’m sure they are chomping at the bit to get by us and back to the front. We’ll be racing our Corvettes clean and fair."
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "It’s great our Corvette is back on the lead lap. We do have a lot of issues, though. I don’t know where they are coming from and I don’t know what it is. We have a dash that isn’t working correctly and isn’t giving correct information. We don’t always have the rear-view camera and radar. It’s very tricky. Once I get into pace mode, I couldn’t get out of it; I had to power down the car and restart it twice. I’m happy we’re back in it and hopefully we can sort out these little bugs. We are good and we are fast. So we’re in it with a shot."
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "We’ve been fighting the whole race. There were some issues with the electronics where we lost some telemetry. We couldn’t even get information to the engineers… things like fuel. Nothing seemed to be working. That made things a lot more complicated. Even with all that, we made it back to the lead. That was a great feeling to be back up there and fighting for it. But we got to a point where we were guessing where we were on fuel. Maybe we could have gone a lap or two shorter but we come here to win and go 100 percent. It’s a shame. We’re several laps down so we are hoping for rain and a lot of yellows."