CORVETTE RACING AT LONG BEACH: First Victory for New Corvette C7.R
Garcia, Magnussen dominate street race; Gavin, Milner take third-place GTLM finish
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Corvette Racing won its first race with the new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on Saturday at Long Beach as Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen dominated in their No. 3 Corvette to take the GT Le Mans class of the Patrón Sports Car Showcase. The duo led all but one lap and took the checkered flag by 5.408 seconds in the third round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed third in class in their No. 4 Corvette C7.R. It was the fourth time Corvette Racing placed both of its entries on the podium at Long Beach since 2007.
“Congratulations to Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team on scoring the win today here at Long Beach,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It was the first win for the Corvette C7.R and a great day. It started with a great qualifying run by Jan to put the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on the pole, which was a huge advantage in a short, 100-minute sprint race. Antonio did a great job getting a nice lead; the Corvette Racing team had a great pit stop and Jan took it home for the win. It was also great to see Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner put the No. 4 Corvette C7.R also on the podium. Just a tremendous effort for Corvette Racing.”
Saturday’s victory was the fifth at Long Beach for Corvette Racing. Magnussen qualified on pole position Friday, and Garcia led the entirety of his 41-minute stint – the result of a great start that allowed him to put two slower prototypes between himself and the rest of the class. His lead grew as much as seven seconds before handing off to Magnussen.
The Dane’s biggest advantage was 12 seconds during his stint as he won at Long Beach for the second time; Garcia won his first Long Beach race.
The No. 4 Corvette gained one position from its fourth-place starting spot. Gavin and the two competing cars in front of him were balked by the slow prototype that Garcia managed to get around on the opening lap. Gavin also fought high tire pressures but still had the fastest race lap in class for most of his stint.
After the driver change to Milner, the young American whittled down the gap to second place from three seconds to a half-second halfway through his stint. He ended the race just 0.273 seconds shy of the runner-up spot. Milner also set the fastest GTLM race lap at 1:18.954 (89.733 mph).
The next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship takes place at Laguna Seca from May 3-4.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It’s been a really good race for us. We couldn’t expect more. We saw yesterday that we were very fast. I think 50 percent of the race was done by Jan yesterday in qualifying. Today he stayed away from the walls but yesterday he was really, really close to them! That pole position made a big difference. I knew that the race was all about Turn 1 and the first three laps. I was probably a bit on the high side of being aggressive on the opening laps because I knew the prototypes were struggling to warm their tires. I made it through at Turn 1, and that was mainly it for the race. That risk made the rest of the race a little more relaxing. Taking the first victory for the Corvette C7.R is very big for us. We have been battling really hard from the beginning. All the Corvette Racing and Chevrolet guys have worked really hard throughout the offseason and into this year. A big thanks to them.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was an important victory for the team and the guys who have worked so hard to get the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R ready for the season. The whole time we have had a fast car but didn’t make the most of it. We had some reliability issues at Daytona and Sebring, so it’s really nice that we can have a weekend like this with pole position and a win by leading from start to finish. I couldn’t be happier for Antonio and myself, and for all the guys on the team. They really deserve it. A big thanks to Antonio. He did all the hard work and got a huge lead. That last hour for me was like a holiday for me! I just drove around making sure I didn’t make any mistakes and stay off the wall.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was a great result for Corvette Racing today. To get both cars on the podium and to get the first win for the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R is fantastic. It was a little frustrating for myself getting caught up behind one of the prototypes and battling with the BMWs. I was also struggling with high tire pressures for some reason. We just missed that all weekend. I don’t know why but maybe we need to look at the systems we have. We kept the car in the race. Tommy got in and did a sterling job and got us right up behind the BMW but I think it was a bit too much to do to get by that car. It seemed that where we were quick, they weren’t so good but then they were fast in some key spots. Tommy did all he could and drove extremely well. But the main thing for both cars is that we got fantastic results for points and the first win for the Corvette C7.R. It’s a fantastic day for Corvette Racing.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was a great day for Corvette Racing. You could really see how strategy plays a part in tire wear and things like that. Great job to Antonio and Jan. They had a great race and got ahead of that one LMP car and could cruise. Our class has always been super-competitive, and it’s fun to see it all play out with pit stops and strategy. It was a great day of racing here at Long Beach.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER
“What a fantastic race for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing today at Long Beach! The team’s strategy played out perfectly, and Antonio and Jan had mistake-free stints. Having Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin join them on the podium makes this a very rewarding day for the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R program. Rest assured, we will work to capitalize on this momentum in our continued push for the first championship in the new TUDOR series.”
Release Date: April 12, 2014