CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: New Season, New Lineup, Same Expectations

Jan 19 2021 Randall Shinn 2021, Daytona, Daytona, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: New Season, New Lineup, Same Expectations

CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA:
New Season, New Lineup, Same Expectations

  • Annual three-day test at Daytona for new-look 2021 Corvette Racing lineup
  • Sunday qualifying race to set grid for following weekend’s Rolex 24
  • Corvette Racing, Chevrolet coming off 2020 sweep of full-season GTLM titles

DETROIT (Jan. 19, 2021) – A new season beckons for Corvette Racing, which begins defense of its GT Le Mans (GTLM) titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship during the next two weeks. The 2021 campaign starts with the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the start of the IMSA season. Before that, however, is the traditional Roar Before the 24 – three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway’s road course.

It will mark the first 2021 running for Corvette Racing’s two mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs. After winning six races and sweeping the full-season GTLM championships in 2020, success at Daytona is one of the major goals in the new season.

The six Corvette Racing drivers all will be in attendance. Defending GTLM Drivers Champions Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor are back with endurance teammate Nicky Catsburg in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. The new-look lineup of Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy, plus long-distance driver Alexander Sims, will make its public debut in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette.

This will mark the first time that the Roar and the Rolex 24 will fall on back-to-back weekends, and there is an additional caveat: a 100-minute race Sunday will set the starting grid for the twice-around-the-clock endurance event.

Corvette Racing is a three-time winner of the Rolex 24: it won the race overall in 2001 and scored back to-back GTLM wins in 2015 and 2016. A year ago, the team debuted the C8.R with a fourth-place finish for Garcia, Taylor and Catsburg as the No. 3 Corvette recorded more miles than any Corvette in the race’s history. What’s more, Garcia and Taylor – who each have two Rolex 24 wins – claimed the first win for the C8.R at Daytona in the first race following a lengthy break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also was Corvette Racing’s 100th victory in IMSA.

On the other side of the garage, this year’s Rolex will mark the first change in lineup for the No. 4 Corvette since 2016. Milner was part of the 2016 race-winning effort at Daytona while Tandy won the GTLM class in 2014. Meanwhile, Sims is at Daytona for the first time since 2018.

The mid-engine C8.R and Corvette Stingray street car were developed simultaneously, and the race car and production vehicle share more technology and parts than any previous-generation Corvette. When initial Corvette C8.R design and development work began more than six years ago, Corvette Racing engineers worked closely alongside Corvette production personnel with a heavy emphasis on wind tunnel and simulation testing.

Corvette Racing will open its 2021 season with the Roar Before the 24 from Jan. 22-24 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31, which will air beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 30 across NBC, NBCSN, TrackPass and the NBC Sports App. A 100-minute qualifying race from the Roar will air on TrackPass at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 24 and again same-day at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. IMSA Radio will air full qualifying and race coverage at IMSA.com.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We have continuity for this year and need to carry over the work we did in 2020. We have our own tools to develop to work on the car off and on the weekend. Things won’t be easier in 2021 for us, but we do have a year of experience on our side with Jordan and Nicky. Perhaps the 4 car will be in the same situation as us with new additions to the team. They probably will be working to find what is the best compromise among the three drivers, get up to speed and get to know each other. One other good thing about Nick coming over is the addition of his experience coming in from another program. That should be a big benefit to us all on both sides of the garage.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “This is going to be a hectic month with the Roar and the Rolex on back-to-back weekends. It’s a lot harder on the team than the driver. The turnaround time for them to get the cars prepped for the Rolex 24 is huge. It’s usually nice to have a couple of weeks to take the cars apart, look at it and rebuild it because that’s the race where you want to be 100 percent. We learned a lot on-track and off-track at the simulator. We’ll be very prepared by the time we get there. Hopefully by the time we get to the Roar, we are just running through some small changes that we want to confirm on-track that they work and run through little items that we need to fine-tune. I have a lot of confidence in this team. They’ve had a ton of success at that race and there is no reason we can’t be successful again there in 2021.”

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m obviously really looking forward to start the season again. I like the new concept of the Roar with it and the race being within one week. It’s different than normal but that’s nice. I am looking forward to seeing how far the Corvette has come since the last time I was at Daytona. It has been a full year with a lot of good results and development. The December test was great, and I think everyone is on the same page. We all have high hopes for Daytona and are eager to come away with a good result.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m excited about my two new teammates. I’ve been racing against Nick for many years now. I know how strong a competitor he is. Obviously I’d much rather him be in my car and not have to fight against him! Both of those guys, I’ve raced against them quite a bit. They’re both true professionals, super fast on the track and their results speak for themselves. I’ve not interacted a lot with them outside of some track stuff, but they’re both characters in their own way. I’m excited to go race with them and work toward the goals we’ve set for 2021.”

NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m sure being the new boy will be a challenge during our first weekend together. For sure there are people that need to get to know each other, I need to get know everyone else and my teammates. I hope the actual driving of the car will be the thing that comes most naturally. I’ve been in a situation during the last 10 years or so where I’ve driven for numerous different teams across the globe and I’ve had to integrate in a short amount of time. It’s going to be new for all of us. I know from previous experience that the best way to bond in a new team is have a good weekend and a good result, and that’s exactly what we are aiming for at Daytona.”

ALEXANDER SIMS, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’ve missed racing in IMSA, and I’m keen to experience this first race in the Corvette. Our December test at Sebring went very well, but racing is why we do all this. It’ll be exciting to get out there and compete with the team. Getting the seat time at Sebring is a big deal as I don’t have go into Daytona feeling concerned about getting to know the car. There is a little work to be done on my side to get super-familiar for racing situations so you can react without thinking too much. But I got a feel for the fundamentals of driving the C8.R around the track at Sebring. The pace seemed to be good and there should be no issues there. I’m really looking road to getting back to racing in IMSA, racing the Corvette… it’s been a great car in testing. I’m excited to see how it does in racing conditions.”