CORVETTE RACING AT DETROIT: Home, Sweet Home

Jun 08 2021 Randall Shinn 2021, Detroit, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT DETROIT: Home, Sweet Home

CORVETTE RACING AT DETROIT: Home, Sweet Home

  • First race for program on Belle Isle since 2008
  • Two mid-engine Corvette C8.Rs to compete in front of home crowd
  • Corvette brand with victories in GT, Prototypes at Detroit over the years

DETROIT (June 8, 2021) – For the first time in more than a decade, Corvette Racing will compete in its hometown when the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to Detroit and the Belle Isle street circuit this weekend for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.

Both of the team’s mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs will compete in the 100-minute race that airs live at 5 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN as part of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix weekend. While the GT Le Mans (GTLM) contest in a non-points event, that doesn’t lessen the importance of having Corvette Racing back on Belle Isle.

For one, Belle Isle will provide an opportunity for the hundreds of Chevrolet production team members – both within the Corvette team and others outside the main program, all of whom contributed in some way to the C8.R and the road-going Corvette Stingray – to see Corvette Racing in-person for the only time in 2021. The reveal of the C8.R nearly 18 months ago was culmination of almost six years of work between all facets of engineers and designers from the Corvette production side and Corvette Racing.

What resulted was a racecar that won six times during its 2020 debut season and swept the full-season IMSA GTLM championships for Manufacturers, Drivers and Teams. The Corvette C8.R also won the Rolex 24 At Daytona to start the 2021 season.

Second, it’s Corvette Racing’s first IMSA event since the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. Competing on Belle Isle will serve as a tune-up for a busy summer schedule that includes four races in a six-week span, plus the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-August. It also will be the first time the full-season driver pairings compete together – defending GTLM champions Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R with Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette.

Corvette Racing competed at Belle Isle in 2007 and 2008 with the sixth-generation racing Corvette, which took American Le Mans Series class victories each year. The event date shifted from September to June in 2012, which was in conflict with the 24 Hours of Le Mans – one of the premier events on Corvette Racing’s calendar.

Two of the four Corvette Racing drivers – Milner and Taylor – have previous experience on Belle Isle. Milner twice raced GT2 cars in the American Le Mans Series, and Taylor is a five-time winner in prototypes at Belle Isle, including three in a Corvette Daytona Prototype.

Chevrolet on Display at Belle Isle
In addition to happenings on the racetrack on Belle Isle, fans will have no shortage of things to see and do from Chevrolet. That’s because the Chevrolet Motorsports Display will be full of Chevrolet vehicles that spectators can learn more about throughout the weekend.

The Chevrolet Motorsports Display opens at 7:30 a.m. from Friday through Sunday in the fan midway. Numerous Chevrolet vehicles and other highlights include:

  • A Corvette Racing C8.R showcar and the No. 16 Paretta Autsport IndyCar
  • Additional Chevrolet products such as the Camaro ZL1, Silverado and Blazer Redline Edition
  • An opportunity to receive a 2021 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix special edition T-shirt

The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 12. The race will air live on NBCSN and stream on TrackPass via NBC Sports Gold and the NBC Sports App. IMSA Radio will air full qualifying and race coverage at IMSA.com along with Sirius 219, XM 202 and SiriusXM Online 992.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "Even though this isn’t a points race, I’m glad we are back at Belle Isle. It’s the first time for me racing in Detroit. Knowing we are racing with one of the most iconic cars around there is pretty cool. Combining that with fans being back in the grandstands and in the paddock is even better. I’m looking forward to getting back on the racetrack and back to racing after a long period since Sebring. I had a chance to race at Spa, but it still feels like a long time since I’ve raced in the States. It’ll be nice to get back to doing what we are used to doing – being around the fans and seeing them. That’s one of the biggest things."

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "At any racetrack where you’ve had success, you’re excited to go back and enjoy being there. For me, I’ve been with GM for so many years. I won there in 2012 in a Camaro, three times in Corvette Daytona Prototype, and then 2017 in a Cadillac. To be there always in a GM vehicle with the Renaissance Center nearby and all the big bosses coming to the race, it always adds a lot of pressure but always means so much more when the race goes well. You can see those guys in person, and they are so passionate for these programs that it’s awesome to see their excitement. To go back there with the Corvette C8.R after such a strong opening year in 2020 and a strong start in 2021, it’s going to be cool to show them in person what these cars are able to do."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "I’m excited to get back in the C8.R again. It’s been a bit of break since Sebring. There has been some testing but there’s nothing like a race weekend. The Detroit event will be a little different for us since it’s a non-points event. We will treat it as a race event but it will be a good warmup with quite a few races coming up. There won’t be much time to take a breath before the end of the season. We’ve missed the atmosphere of having the fans there. For me at least I still feel that’s a missing element. Fundamentally that’s why we go racing – to showcase these amazing Corvette race cars and allow the people to get up close and see how cool they are five feet away. For the fans who have been around sports cars so long to get back the access is pretty special. For us, that’s something that is fun to see."

NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "I’ve been to Detroit to visit the Corvette Racing shop. But due to things associated around COVID, I haven’t yet been able to integrate fully into the Chevrolet and Corvette programs. So this is something that I’m looking forward to – meeting some of the team members who have designed and worked on this car and seeing the people of Detroit who want to come and see us. We’re all looking forward to having the paddock open again to show off these cool machines and interact with people. On top of that, it’s my first time at Belle Isle. From a competition standpoint, I’m looking forward to getting onto a brand new circuit. It’s not often that we go to a new track so it’s something that is exciting for me personally."