CORVETTE RACING AT LAGUNA SECA: Going for Fourth Straight Monterey Win
Quartet of drivers have found Victory Circle each year since 2012
•Garcia, Magnussen on two-race Monterey victory streak
•Gavin, Milner winners at Laguna Seca in 2012
•Final TUDOR Championship event for Corvette Racing before Le Mans
DETROIT – Corvette Racing’s two-race California swing wraps up this weekend at a place where the team has found considerable success in the last decade. Mazda Raceway Laguna plays host to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s fourth round, the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, and the last event before the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Corvette Racing has seven victories at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn layout since 2004. The span covers the American Le Mans Series from 2004-13 and the TUDOR Championship, which made Laguna Seca part of its inaugural schedule in 2014.
Corvette Racing will field its two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs in Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race for all four classes of the TUDOR Championship. It’s a change from last year’s format that saw a two-hour race for just the Prototype and GT Le Mans (GTLM) categories.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen are the GTLM championship leaders in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R. The Rolex 24 At Daytona and Sebring 12 Hours winners also have won their last two races at Laguna Seca. The pairing went wire-to-wire in 2013 and led the majority of last year’s race. In the most recent TUDOR Championship event two weeks ago, Garcia and Magnussen placed third in class.
Magnussen leads all Corvette drivers with three pole positions at Laguna Seca, all consecutively from 2007-09. He also posted the fastest race lap in class each of those years, as well. Garcia was the pole-winner last year.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner are in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R were third to their teammates at Daytona and have Monterey success to their credit, as well. The pairing won in the ALMS GT class in 2012. It gave Gavin four victories at the circuit to lead all Corvette Racing drivers.
Laguna Seca is where the Corvette C7.R broke cover publically for the first time in the summer of 2013 when Milner drove a couple of calm laps during the Monterey Historic Festival.
Corvette, Chevrolet on Display in Monterey
In addition to the on-track activity at Laguna Seca, fans can learn all they need to know about Chevrolet by visiting the Corvette Racing Display from Friday to Sunday in the track vendor area. Among the Chevrolet attractions at the Display include:
•Chevrolet production vehicles such as the 2015 Corvette Stingray, Impala, SS, Silverado 2500 HD, Trax and the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, the Chevy Colorado.
•A Corvette C7.R show car and the recently announced Corvette Z06 C7.R special edition. The Z06 and C7.R represent the strongest link between Corvettes built for racing and the road
•Samples of Chevrolet engines, performance parts and accessories available to fans for purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer
•A variety of interactive games for adults and kids
•Commemorative t-shirts for fans who sign up with Corvette Racing.
The Corvette Racing display opens 9 a.m., Friday and 8 a.m., Saturday and Sunday.
The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, the fourth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is set for 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 3, from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Live TV coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. ET. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“Laguna Seca has been good to Corvette Racing and me personally. The last two years were difficult challenges with tough competition. But that is how GT Le Mans is. It is the best manufacturers, the best teams and the best drivers. Jan and I have been fortunate to have Corvette Racing and Chevrolet behind us. I have said it many times, but our crew is the best third driver we can have. This race is the third different format in three years so there are a few unknowns. But I’m confident our engineers and crew will come up with a strategy and plan to put us in the best possible position. It will be up to us as drivers to execute.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“Laguna Seca is a fantastic place and one of the best tracks we go to. It’s a place with a lot of history and one that I think most drivers enjoy. Certainly everyone at Corvette Racing does. We’ve had great success over the years there regardless of the class. The Corvette is really suited to the track with our braking performance and handling. As a driver, you have to be very precise due to the sand and gravel just off the surface. Over the last two seasons, Antonio and I have gone very well there. A large part of it comes down to the engineers and crew we have. The strategy and pit stops have been nearly perfect, and we’ve been able to consistently push when we’ve needed to. I was able to lead all of stint last year, and Antonio did a great job closing down and passing the Ferrari for another victory. I’d be happy with a repeat except with a little less stress!”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“I absolutely enjoy going to Laguna Seca. It’s a great track and a fantastic area that has been great for sports cars over the years and continues today. The race track is a challenging layout due to a number of factors. You can pay for small mistakes such as getting off track slightly or not managing traffic properly. It’s easy to lose time around there but not easy to gain time. Having a car that is steady and performs well on the brakes like our Corvette C7.R is a huge bonus. Tommy and I won there in 2012 and had a car that was more than capable of finishing on the podium until I was hit by another GT driver. The highlight of our season in the No. 4 Corvette has been our podium at Daytona. Another podium in Monterey would go a long way in getting our season back on track before heading to Le Mans.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“You don’t have to be an American to appreciate the history of Laguna Seca and the challenge it presents. Any time you can win in Monterey, you know you’ve performed well not just drivers but as a team. That’s something Corvette Racing and everyone at Team Chevy has been able to do consistently over the last 10 years. Oliver and I were fortunate to do it in 2012 and we’re overdue for another win. We certainly have a car that is capable of finding more success at Laguna. It’s good on the brakes, it turns really well in the slow- and medium-speed corners that dominate the layout of the track. We need to minimize mistakes, stay out of the pits and be patient. If we do all those things, we’ll be in contention for a podium at the least and hopefully another win.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER
“Laguna Seca is one of the great tracks of North America. It’s also a place where Corvette Racing has found success in the last decade. From an engineer’s perspective, the track presents a number of different challenges. The changes in temperature on the Monterey Peninsula can make finding grip difficult, as can the sand that blows on the surface. Tire management and maintaining track position take on more importance as a result. Those have been the keys in the last three races at Laguna Seca – all wins for Corvette Racing.”
TUDOR Championship – GTLM Standings
Corvette Racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix – GT Le Mans (all times PT)
•TUDOR Practice 1: 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 1
•TUDOR Practice 2: 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 1
•TUDOR Practice 3: 10:50 a.m., Saturday, May 2
•TUDOR GTLM Qualifying: 5:05 p.m., Saturday, May 2
•TUDOR Warmup: 8:35 a.m., Sunday, May 3
•Race: 1:05 p.m., Sunday, May 3 (FOX Sports 1)
Release Date: April 29, 2015