CORVETTE RACING AT MID-OHIO: Looking to Ride Wave of Momentum

May 01 2019 Randall Shinn 2019, Mid-Ohio, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT MID-OHIO: Looking to Ride Wave of Momentum

CORVETTE RACING AT MID-OHIO: Looking to Ride Wave of Momentum

Team seeking to build on double-podium finish at Long Beach

  • Garcia, Magnussen GTLM title push began a year ago
  • Gavin, Milne most recent Corvette Racing winner at Mid-Ohio
  • Program continues chase for 100th victory in IMSA competition
  • Team’s final race before 24 Hours of Le Mans

DETROIT (April 30, 2019) – One year ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Corvette Racing began its push to a third consecutive GT Le Mans (GTLM) title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team is hoping for a repeat and momentum heading into the heart of its schedule.

The Acura Sports Challenge at Mid-Ohio is next up for Corvette Racing and its pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs this weekend. The most successful team in IMSA history – with 99 victories – is also the most honored at Mid-Ohio with eight class victories in 12 trips to the 2.238-mile, 13-turn road course.

Mid-Ohio is one of America’s most technical circuits with rolling hills and corners that create almost a roller-coaster type effect. It’s a stark difference from the opening three rounds of the GT Le Mans championship – Daytona, Sebring and Long Beach, which are largely flat and reward top-end speed.

Good vibes are flowing at Corvette Racing after second- and third-place finishes in the team’s last race at Long Beach to get the program into the GTLM Championship hunt. Defending Driver’s co-champions Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia placed second at Long Beach and stand third in points heading to Mid-Ohio, where they placed third a year ago in their Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette.

Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin, in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette, hope to improve their championship position following a third-place finish at Long Beach. The duo was the most recent Mid-Ohio winner for Corvette Racing in 2012 in the Corvette C6.R.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio begins at 1:40 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 5. It will air on live on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Sports app starting at 1:30 p.m. Live audio coverage of practices, qualifying and the race from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "Mid-Ohio was the first of many races last year where Jan and I had good results that led up to the championship. So we have a solid feeling about racing there. I enjoy the track. It has a good rhythm and flow to it. We will make sure in the practices that we have well-balanced Corvette that handles the elevation and directional changes with good drive off the corners. Long Beach was a solid weekend for the entire team, and hopefully we can keep that up at Mid-Ohio and into Le Mans."

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "I’m really happy we’ve come back to Mid-Ohio. It’s a really good track with a lot of undulation and fun to drive. In the past we’ve been good there. Hopefully we can have a chance to fight for the win again. There is usually a lot of fans there, and it’s the last race before everything gets shipped over for Le Mans. It is a technical track. It’s hard to say that it is unique in that respect because most of the real tracks we race here in the U.S. are like that. You have tarmac, grass and then some hard stuff! But that’s what I enjoy most about racing in the U.S. You get to race these types of circuits where you have to really risk something to go a little bit faster."

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "Mid-Ohio is a big challenge and is great fun. The surface there usually is very low-grip, so you feel like you’re all the time hunting for grip around a lap. I’ve personally had some good memories and good results at Mid-Ohio. No, last year didn’t work out so well for Tommy and I, but we understand the reasons why and we are hopeful of having a strong Corvette there. It’s not a bad track for the C7.R, but this will be the first time for us there with this spec of Michelin tires. That will be a little bit of a learning experience with figuring out what works with them and how to switch on the performance. But Mid-Ohio is a circuit where you can pass cars and one where you can race hard. It generally puts on a good race and a great event."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "Mid-Ohio kind of reminds me of a go-kart track in a good way. You’re always working there with a lot of medium-speed corners that are all different but are all third- or fourth-gear corners. It’s such a tough race because you are working so hard for so long. Getting the balance right is oftentimes difficult with lots of elevation change, on-camber and off-camber sections, curbs you can use and curbing you can’t. It’s a really challenging track for us in our GT cars. Then you add in traffic with the prototypes and slower GTD cars… it’s difficult and frustrating for everyone. But it’s a classic sports car course. We’re lucky in the U.S. to have tracks like Mid-Ohio with so much history and character. It’s one we haven’t raced at a lot recently, so our book on setup stuff is somewhat new with the C7.R. We took good notes after last year’s race, so we’re looking forward to going back there to see how we can make the car better and have a better race."

2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM Standings
(After Three of 11 Events)

Driver Standings
1. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 91
2. Nick Tandy/Patrick Pilet – 87
3. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 87
4. Dirk Mueller/Sebastien Bourdais – 84
5. Connor De Phillippi – 83
7. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 46

Team Standings
1. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 91
2. No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 87
3. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 53
4. No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi – 84
5. No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 83
7. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 76

Manufacturer Standings
1. Porsche – 100
2. BMW – 91
3. Ford – 90
4. Chevrolet – 88

Corvette Racing at Mid-Ohio
2001
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell -1st in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Kelly Collins/Andy Pilgrim -2nd in GT1

2002
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell -1st in GT1 (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Kelly Collins/Andy Pilgrim -2nd in GT1

2004
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell -1st in GT1 (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -5th in GT1 (Gavin fastest race lap)

2005
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell -1st in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -2nd in GT1 (Gavin pole, fastest race lap)

2006
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell -2nd in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -1st in GT1

2007
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell -2nd in GT1 (O’Connell pole, Magnussen fastest race lap)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -1st in GT1

2008
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell -1st in GT1 (O’Connell pole)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -2nd in GT1 (Beretta fastest race lap)

2009
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell -2nd in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -4th in GT

2010
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell -13th in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin -2nd in GT

2011
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Tommy Milner -6th in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen -2nd in GT

2012
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia -4th in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner -1st in GT (Gavin fastest race lap)

2018
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia -3rd in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner -8th in GTLM

Corvette Racing By the Numbers at Mid-Ohio

  • 1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 20 years: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette.
  • 3: Class victories at Mid-Ohio for Oliver Gavin, the most among active Corvette Racing drivers. He and Tommy Milner won there in 2012.
  • 5: Class victories at Mid-Ohio for former Corvette Racing pilot Johnny O’Connell, the most among team drivers.
  • 7: Consecutive victories at Mid-Ohio for Corvette Racing between 2001 and 2008; the team didn’t race there in 2003 as it was not part of the American Le Mans Series schedule.
  • 8: Class victories at Corvette Racing at Mid-Ohio – more than any entrant in IMSA at the circuit.
  • 8: As in Chevrolet’s small-block V8. More than 100 million units have been sold worldwide and is the most successful engine in American motorsports.
  • 9: Number of drivers who have competed at Mid-Ohio for Corvette Racing – Olivier Beretta, Kelly Collins, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell, Andy Pilgrim and Tommy Milner.
  • 12: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001.
  • 16: Number of GTLM wins for Corvette Racing since the start of 2014. That is the most of any manufacturer and team in the category.
  • 16: Number of victories for Corvette Racing drivers at Mid-Ohio.
  • 20: As in number of consecutive appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Corvette Racing with this year’s running in June.
  • 21: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres and Utah.
  • 107: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 99 in North America and eight at Le Mans.
  • 217: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
  • 5,815.19: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing in its 12 previous appearances at Mid-Ohio. That represents 2,583 laps.
  • 289,189.98: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception. To put that in perspective Apollo 13 – the longest manned spaceflight in history – covered "just" 248,655 miles.